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What Will it Take?
By Phillip James

What will it take to get the TRPA oversight to recognize that the current direction of TRPA is contradictory to TRPA's primary objective? The lake environment needs to be preserved, not sold out to the highest bidder.

If TRPA cannot acquire financial support from government it must get that support from developer permits. Rather than reduce TRPA's activities, TRPA has expanded its efforts with new diversions like CEP which are nothing more than finding new loopholes for developers to drive their ambitions through.

Doesn't it follow that the Lake environment must be developed so that TRPA can continue to operate? So, TRPA exists to sustain itself by encouraging/soliciting more developer fees?

Joanne Marchetta has said those of us that disagree with her or TRPA's chosen direction of  - how can I say this charitably? - development to preserve tourism…bringing urban development densities to the Alpine environment. Those of us that disagree are heretics, ostriches and other absurd characterizations that do nothing more than further discourage reasonable resolution managing the environment of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe

TRPA, prior to Ms. Marchetta's appointment to the director's position was proposing increasing the number of buoys on Lake Tahoe. This constituted a portion of  the shoreline plan. Increasing boat traffic, and the number of vehicles needed to bring the boats to Lake Tahoe does not appear to me a plan to preserve the Lake. If you want to see the results of this type of plan look south 500 miles to Big Bear lake in California. Traffic-choked, green water(eutrophy), desertification on the shoreline due to destruction of the wetlands.

When I came to Tahoe as a resident 15 years ago, I thought of TRPA as such a great idea - preserve the Lake, etc. I learned to realize that IPES scores were not that bad. I appreciated many of TRPA's efforts to preserve the lake. Within the last 2 years I have observed TRPA take the approach that they must encourage economic development. I believe this is an assumption of responsibility that is not in their charter. To preserve TRPA they need revenue from other sources. I suggest they may need to reduce the size/focus of their vision. I believe they are ignoring the reality that fewer people are coming to the lake, because they cannot afford the trip. Auto fuel is discouraging a lot of visitors. Developing more accommodation capacity to sit idle waiting for  expected visitors seems like a foolish policy.

Is there a problem with retaining a rural feel to Lake Tahoe? Is there something wrong with not developing land? Is there something wrong with not encouraging more boats on Lake Tahoe?  Is there something wrong with looking at the lake and not having the view disturbed by all the buoy markers?

What will it take to get the oversight of TRPA to stop this cynical march to over development? The State of NV seems to want to do the right thing. However, as I see the presentations to the governing board, read the development plans I see nothing more than a stream of deception. The board is told that the lake needs to increase tourism or the Lake will cease to exist. We know on the face that such fear-mongering is false. I am amused by the chutzpah  that says the lake exists for tourism; the lake must create jobs. I ask when did the immediate environment need to create jobs? The board is then told how many homes are 2nd homes as if this is a problem. It is a problem if you are operating a large urban center. Focus on the lake though…it cannot sustain a large urban center. At 6000 feet, greater than a mile above sea level, Mother Nature has provided us with less air, less of the mechanisms to correct the pollutants and particulate depositions that harm the lake clarity and surrounding environment. We cannot resolve the problems at the Lake with 'sea level' or 'flat land' thinking. However, the 'consultants' hired by TRPA will tell us we must or perish.

This letter is to vent some frustration. Moreso it is to initiate a dialogue where the Lake can be preserved from TRPA's new, confusing/contradictory direction. It appears TRPA's direction is determined by entities that want what they want, and dispense with any interest in the well being of the lake. We ask for measurements, but, we do not ask who is providing the measurement, and what is their place(benefit) in HOW they measured. Please be aware there are a number of us that do not know how to approach the TRPA or TRPA oversight to get these concerns addressed.  We are frustrated that TRPA can and will dismiss us as 'tree-huggers' are whatever other insult they choose to characterize us. I am not a tree-hugger. I do believe the lake is being poorly managed. I believe that it is my responsibility to speak up about the deceptive information being presented to the government on these issues.
Please advise. After many attempts to get TRPA to speak honestly and constructively, I am tired of being told I am damaged goods, an obstacle to progress, etc. As a citizen of the United States I would like to believe my voice, and the voice of people like me,  still has some valuable input to the process.