Tahoe Summit 2013 Recap

Mark Twain probably never thought that a group of politicians would sit around on a Monday morning in early August in the year 2013 at Sand Harbor to talk about preserving Lake Tahoe for future generations. When Mark Twain was at Lake Tahoe, it was pristine and there were few modes of transportation — boats, horseback, rail and foot — long before the invasion of urban dwellers in cars and mussels on boats.

Many of the visitors to the 2013 Tahoe Summit arrived via the East Shore Express from Incline Village and several TTD buses from South Tahoe.

With an estimation of nearly 9 million annual visits to the Lake Tahoe basin, it is a challenge to keep this lake pristine, but it is possible with the efforts of everybody. TTD helped by providing buses for transit.

And when I say everybody, I mean everybody was at the Lake Tahoe Summit. There were representatives from the general public to, non profits, local governments, state governments, federal governments, elected officials from inside and outside the basin, as well as their hard working staffs in attendance on a smoky Monday morning at Sand Harbor.

Al Gore addresses elected officials, community leaders and Lake Tahoe residents at the Tahoe Summit.

Al Gore addresses elected officials, community leaders and Lake Tahoe residents at the Tahoe Summit.

With a lineup of speakers ranging from former Vice President Al Gore to the governors of Nevada and California and senators and congressional representatives from Nevada and California, it was a sight to see this cast of characters on the stage of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

Additionally, there were interesting comments from various groups, such as the host organization, the Tahoe Fund and TRPA, the regulating authority of the Lake, and a newly established Northern Sierra Partnership.

When this cast appears on stage, they all saying the same song but in various tunes. The words to the song were all about how do we increase the clarity of the lake without over regulating, while still allowing for people from around the world and locally to recreate and enjoy the treasure of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe.

The topics of the speeches ranged from global warming, mussels and clams, erosion and runoff pollution to forest fire smoke.

As the speeches began a slight patter of rain washed over the audience and people covered their heads with umbrellas and hoods. This rain lasted for only a few minutes as the tone and passion of the voices on stage increased.

The applause for each speaker remained solid and constant just like the fight to preserve Tahoe and the environment for future generations.

There were also many dinners and lunches scheduled around this summit, but none may have been as important as the one hosted by the Tahoe Fund. The Tahoe Fund organized and orchestrated a fabulous event for all to enjoy while raising nearly $300,000 to be used for special projects in the basin that will help lessen the environmental impact on its clarity.

Buzz Harris

Tahoe Transportation District Government Affairs subcontractor

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