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South Lake Tahoe, Calif. April 10, 2020 – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, California Tahoe Conservancy, and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency seek public input on the proposed Lake Tahoe West Restoration Project. This project will restore forests, meadows, streams, and wildlife habitat across the West Shore of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The West Shore landscape is vulnerable to high-severity wildfire, drought, climate change, and forest insect and disease outbreaks. The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Project will use forest thinning, prescribed burning, reforestation, and habitat restoration in streams, meadows, lakes, and forests to improve the landscape’s resilience to future disturbances.

“The Forest Service and our partners are eager to move forward with the public in this significant landscape-scale restoration strategy,” said Acting Forest Supervisor, Danelle D. Harrison. “Lake Tahoe West serves as a turning point in the way land managers think about restoration projects that increase the pace and scale of forest restoration needed to protect our communities and Lake Tahoe.”

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Project is based on the comprehensive Landscape Restoration Strategy developed by the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership. The Strategy, released in December 2019, provides a science-based, all-lands approach to guide restoration approaches on the West Shore over the next two decades to increase resilience of ecosystems and human communities.

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Project will reduce wildfire risks to communities, improve forest health, protect and enhance habitat for native plants and animals, and protect lake clarity. Together, these actions will help restore the resilience of West Shore forests, watersheds, and communities in the face of climate change.

“It is paramount that we continue to prioritize forest health projects like Lake Tahoe West that strive to keep our region safe and resilient,” said Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta. “We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to ensure that the public process remains inclusive and robust to best serve our communities.”

The project area covers approximately 59,000 acres in the western portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin and consists of federal, state, local, and private lands. The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Project will more than double the amount of forest restoration conducted each year on the West Shore.

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The Forest Service, Conservancy, and TRPA have developed a Scoping Notice / Notice of Preparation to provide information to the public about the proposed project and the environmental effects that the three agencies will analyze. The project is on the LTBMU’s Projects webpage at https://go.usa.gov/xmgxT. Scroll down to “Developing Proposal” and select the “Lake Tahoe West” link. To review the Scoping Notice / Notice of Preparation on the “Lake Tahoe West” project webpage under Project Documents, select  the “Scoping” tab.

To Comment: On the “Lake Tahoe West” project webpage and under the right-hand column heading “Get Connected,” select the “Comment/ Object on Project” link. Comments must be submitted or posted by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on May 11, 2020.

The agencies will also host two public meetings to share information about the project. The meetings will provide members of the public an opportunity to learn more about the proposed action and about the content of the environmental analysis document. The agencies are concerned for the health and safety of community members and staff and will ensure that scoping meetings are conducted on a virtual platform on the following dates and times:

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Governing Board Meeting

April 22, 2020

Check www.trpa.org on April 15, 2020  for link to virtual meeting.

USDA Forest Service

Lake Tahoe West Public Meeting

April 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Check https://go.usa.gov/xmgxT on April 15, 2020 for link to a virtual meeting.