National Forest Foundation

Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership

Resilient Alpine Forests and Watersheds

Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership

This page provides an overview of the initiative, information on upcoming stakeholder meetings, background information along with essential materials (including a short project description and map), and synopses of completed stakeholder meetings.  For specific questions, please call or email the program manager, Dorian Fougères, at 530-902-8281 or dfougeres@nationalforests.org.  More information follows below.

Click here to download a PDF description of the project (including a larger map).

Click here to go to the FTP site where you can download all current and historical stakeholder group meeting materials.  


OVERVIEW

The forests, lakes and alpine peaks of Lake Tahoe’s west shore make it one of America’s iconic landscapes. The region as a whole is home to 65,000 residents and attracts over 6.4 million annual visitors. Yet persistent drought, climate change, overstocked forests, and a potential bark beetle epidemic threaten its ecology, economy, and culture.

The goal of the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (Lake Tahoe West) -- a new interagency initiative of the California Tahoe Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, California State Parks, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team, and National Forest Foundation -- is to restore the resilience of the west shore's forests, watersheds, recreational opportunities, and communities to such threats. The planning area includes 59,013 acres of federal, state, local, and private lands, from Emerald Bay to Squaw Valley.

STAKEHOLDER MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS

The next Stakeholder Community Committee and Stakeholder Science Committee meetings will be on Thursday, July 6,  from 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 5 pm, respectively.  The location will be the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in South Lake Tahoe.

Draft agendas will be posted here, likely on June 29.

Stakeholder meetings are open to the public throughout this multi-year effort. RSVP from public parties is requested (but not required) for the next meeting by close of business on Friday, June 30.

Click here to go to the FTP site where you can download all current and historical stakeholder group meeting materials.  


Background AND ESSENTIAL MATERIALS

Four public agencies—the California Tahoe Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and Pacific Southwest Research Station, California State Parks, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency—are joining with the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team and the National Forest Foundation to lead the Partnership.

The combination of eight critical elements make Lake Tahoe West unique among efforts to increase the pace and scale of restoration in the Sierra Nevada. Lake Tahoe West will:

  1. Collaboratively develop and implement a landscape-scale strategy and corresponding series of restoration projects, with major steps including:
  2. Convene a Science Team and diverse group of stakeholders to inform the effort;
  3. Assess the landscape and identify highest priority areas for forest health and watershed restoration treatments under multiple future scenarios;
  4. Model the outcomes, risks, and tradeoffs of potential management actions on key topics of concern (such as air quality, recreation, wildlife, carbon sequestration, and biomass utilization);
  5. Align and accelerate agency planning, permitting, and implementation schedules;
  6. Establish a performance-based framework for multi-party monitoring, evaluation, and improvement of results;
  7. Leverage multiple funding sources; and
  8. Build public awareness and support for Lake Tahoe West’s efforts.

Click on any of the following links to see the associated document:

Click here to go to the FTP site where you can download all current and historical stakeholder group meeting materials.  

Spring on the west shore. Photo by Dorian Fougeres.

Stakeholder Group Meeting synopses

First Field Visit to Ward Creek, Blackwood Canyon, and Meeks Bay

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (Lake Tahoe West) held its first Stakeholder Science Committee and Stakeholder Community Committee Field Visit on June 7, 2017.  The trip included exploring Ward Creek, Blackwood Canyon, and Meeks Bay, on the west shore of the Lake Tahoe Basin.  The goals of the field visit were to examine places that embodied difficult restoration challenges on the west shore, and help each other begin to see and read the landscape in new and different ways.  In each location, stakeholders learned about the history of vegetation treatments and prescribed fire; shared what they were seeing on the landscape; broke into small groups to travel deeper into discussion; and  came back to share highlights of small group conversations.  Topics covered steep slopes, stream channels, ecological fire, riparian corridors, sensitive wildlife, aspen stands, the structure and composition of vegetation, meadows, and cultural resources, including how these interacted with public health & safety and recreation values on the landscape.  The next Stakeholder Community Committee and Stakeholder Science Committee meetings will be on Thursday, July 6, from 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 5 pm, respectively.  The location will be the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in South Lake Tahoe.

The final field visit summary will be posted here when available, likely July 8.

Sixth Meeting - June 6, 2017

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (LTW) Stakeholder Science Committee (SSC) met on June 6, 2017, at the Tahoe Mountain Lab in South Lake Tahoe.  Stakeholders reviewed revisions to the Essential Management Questions work product.  Discussion focused on how to clarify the relationship between the three categories of landscape value:  ecosystems, public health & safety, and recreation.  Stakeholders also reviewed the recent Landscape Resilience Assessment on indicators.  Discussion included how the categories of landscape value would overlay the indicators; how best to integrate human disturbances like accidental fire ignitions, erosion, and air pollution; and the near-term work plan for completing the assessment.  Subsequently the group reviewed the field visit agenda and design principles.  The facilitator also provided a series of updates on the boundary, coordination with the Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests, and secured and requested funding, among other things.  Final discussion focused on the Planning Scenarios, and the need to clarify that the narratives are the product of a thinking exercise, and the assumptions and hypotheses embedded therein will be modeled and explored during Phase 2 modeling, as well as eventual monitoring.  The facilitator noted his own pending departure for family reasons, and highlighted what he felt was most distinctive and promising about LTW.  Following a field visit on June 7, the next Stakeholder Community Committee and Stakeholder Science Committee meetings will be on Thursday, July 6,  from 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 5 pm, respectively.  The location will be the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in South Lake Tahoe.

The final meeting summary will be posted here when available, likely July 8.

Fifth Meeting - May 2, 2017

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (LTW) Stakeholder Science Committee (SSC) and Stakeholder Community Committee met via webinar on May 2, 2017.   Stakeholders recommended the Lake Tahoe West (LTW) Project Boundary; the accompanying explanatory text or map itself will show that the eastern boundary interacts with Lake Tahoe. Stakeholders also reviewed and provided input on the three major work products.  These included, first, reviewing the revisions made on the draft table of Essential Management Questions, which addressed the comments received during the April 4 SSC meeting. Discussion included clarifying “watershed”, that restoration may produce secondary benefits for recreation, the need to add additional prefatory text, and the inclusion of cultural resources questions. The second product addressed the properties of resilient systems and the draft disturbance indicators for the Landscape Resilience Assessment.  Discussions ranged from what resilience looks like for primary indicators, to the datasets and models being used to analyze disturbance indicators.  Suggestions included providing the SSC with information regarding what datasets are used in EcObject, and clarifying the meaning of each primary indicator.  Third, stakeholders briefly discussed the climate and management assumptions and re-structured narratives for the planning scenarios.  This included discussing the significance of the variability in the climate assumptions; full drafts should be available for the next meeting.  The next SSC meeting will be on June 6, from 1 pm to 5 pm, with the location being South Lake Tahoe, and then an all-day field trip with the SSC and Stakeholder Community Committee on June 7.

Click here to view the May 5 webinar summary.

Fourth Meeting - April 4, 2017

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (Lake Tahoe West) Stakeholder Science Committee and Stakeholder Community Committee met on April 4, 2017, at the Tahoe City Public Utility District in Tahoe City.  Stakeholders adopted a governing charter, communication and education plan, and final stakeholder assessment findings.  Stakeholders also reviewed and provided input on the three major work products.  These included, first, a revised draft table of essential management questions meant to guide LTW inquiry and ensure consistency between the concerns and interests of stakeholders, executives, and agency staff.  Suggestions included to ensuring that questions have a positive framing, clarifying the relevant time scales, acknowledging the uncertainty inherent in any intervention, addressing invasive species and economics, and emphasizing recreation’s role in increasing stewardship.  The second product reviewed was the landscape resilience assessment, where stakeholders discussed further development of key disturbances on the landscape, and how to compare different parts of the landscape.  Suggestions included clarifying disturbances relevant to public health and safety and recreation, adding invasive species, and including human disturbances.   Third, stakeholders discussed the draft standardized assumptions for their planning scenarios, including climate and management.  This included requesting additional information on daytime and nighttime, as well as not only air but water, temperatures, and soil moisture. 

Click here to view the April 4 meeting summary.

Third Meeting - March 7, 2017

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (Lake Tahoe West) Stakeholder Science Committee met on March 7, 2017, at the Tahoe Mountain Lab in South Lake Tahoe.  Stakeholders advanced the development of three major work products.  Regarding the essential management questions, the group deliberated how to design these guiding questions, have them be inclusive of wide-ranging inquiry yet still provide direction, and how to sort them.  Regarding the landscape resilience assessment, Mr. Scott Conway from the US Forest Service Region 5 Remote Sensing Lab presented on the EcObject tool, which helps segment the landscape into ecologically meaningful units that can be used in an assessment.  After lunch, the group deliberated the appropriate scale of assessment units and how to select indicators, including how to ensure the indicators amount to a resilient system, as well as the importance of trends and sudden ecological disturbances.  The next Stakeholder Science Committee (SSC) meeting will occur from 9 am to 12:30 pm on April 4, 2017, at the Tahoe City Public Utility District office in Tahoe City, and the next Stakeholder Community Committee meeting, including SSC liaisons, will follow immediately after from 1 pm to 5 pm at the same location.

Click here to view the March 7 meeting summary.

Second Meeting - February 7, 2017

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (Lake Tahoe West) held its second Stakeholder Group meeting on February 7, 2017, at the Parasol Community Foundation Building in Incline Village.  Executives from several of the organizing agencies provided opening remarks that explained the genesis and goals for Lake Tahoe West, including the need to fulfill multiple missions, update standards, and help direct future investment.  The team then introduced stakeholders to the concept of scenario planning, which allows decision-makers to better anticipate and manage future uncertainty, and the structure for the day’s exercise.  Split into four groups, stakeholders then spent the rest of the morning discussing how various social and ecological conditions on the landscape might look in four possible futures.  After lunch they presented their initial ideas, received peer feedback, and completed a second round of small group discussion.  The results from the day’s exercise will be refined over the next meetings, and then serve as guideposts for the landscape resilience assessment and landscape restoration strategy.  The facilitator next walked invited stakeholders through the second half of the draft charter for Lake Tahoe West, noting revisions made since the inaugural meeting on November 30, and answered questions.  Finally, the facilitator walked invited stakeholders through a draft Communication and Education plan, highlighting communication principles, audiences, messages, and select strategies, including an emphasis on homeowner outreach.  The next Stakeholder Science Committee will occur on March 7, 2017, in South Lake Tahoe, and the next joint Stakeholder Science Committee and Stakeholder Community Committee will occur on April 4, 2017, in Tahoe City.

Click here to view the February 7 meeting summary.

Inaugural Meeting - November 30, 2016

The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership (Lake Tahoe West) held its inaugural Stakeholder Group meeting on November 30, 2016, at Homewood Mountain Resort.  Executives from several of the organizing agencies provided opening remarks that explained the genesis and goals for Lake Tahoe West, and responded to questions about the initiative’s boundary and its complementary relationship with existing fuels treatments on the west shore.  Invited stakeholders then developed a shared history of their relationships to the west shore, major events on the landscape, and their hopes for the future, and used this information to introduce themselves.  After lunch, the facilitator reviewed highlights from the stakeholder assessment interviews conducted to design and prepare for the initiative.  The facilitator then walked invited stakeholders through the first half of the draft charter for Lake Tahoe West, and responded to questions.  Several invited stakeholders commented on the critical role that the Stakeholder Community Committee will play in translating scientific and planning information for homeowners and the wide range of other people who enjoy the west shore; and on the strong links between forests, recreation, transportation, and public health.  The next stakeholder meeting will occur on February 7, 2017, in Incline Village, and focus on developing future scenarios that allow planning to better anticipate uncertainty and respond to change.

Click here to view the inaugural meeting summary.

Click here to go to an FTP site where you can download all current and historical stakeholder group meeting materials.


CLOSING REMARKS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Lake Tahoe West looks forward to testing new ideas and approaches that can readily be replicated throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Sierra Nevada.

This initiative is supported by a Proposition 1 planning grant from the California Tahoe Conservancy to the National Forest Foundation, agreement number CTA 15 018L, as well as a State Fire Assistance grant from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, grant award number 17-DG-11052012-145.

CONTACT

NFF Conservation Connect

Learn more about the NFF's other collaboration efforts here.  For related collaborative efforts in California, see the Sierra Cascades All-Lands Enhancement (SCALE).