Lisa Herron, USDA Forest Service, 530-543-2815
Jeff Cowen, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 775-589-5278
LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is seeking community input on the environmental review of the Meeks Bay Restoration Project.
The LTBMU, in conjunction with Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, is developing a plan to restore Meeks Creek to a more natural condition, while continuing to support sustainable recreation opportunities.
In 1960, a marina with approximately 120 boat slips and a boat launch facility was dredged at the mouth of Meeks Creek, on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. The marina eliminated a unique wetland habitat for numerous bird, mammal, and amphibian species. The deteriorating condition of the existing marina infrastructure, along with concerns over water quality, aquatic invasive species, and degraded habitat for native species prompted the need for action in Meeks Bay.
“The release of the environmental review marks a key milestone in the ultimate restoration of beautiful Meeks Bay,” said LTBMU Forest Supervisor, Erick Walker.
The lead agencies are jointly circulating a draft environmental impact statement/environmental impact statement/environmental impact report (Draft EIS/EIS/EIR) for public comment for 60 days beginning June 10, 2022, through August 9, 2022. This Draft EIS/EIS/EIR evaluates the environmental impacts of the proposed project and identifies ways to minimize or mitigate potential impacts.
The proposed project aims to:
- Restore a functioning stream and lagoon ecosystem
- Control and eradicate aquatic invasive species
- Enhance fish and wildlife habitat
- Provide sustainable recreation opportunities and access
- Improve educational and interpretive opportunities
- Restore habitat for Tahoe yellow cress, Lahontan cutthroat trout, and species of value to the Washoe Tribe
“Providing substantive comments helps us refine the proposed project to best restore and enhance this most beloved place on the West Shore,” said Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director, Joanne S. Marchetta.
To read the Notice of Availability and comment on the draft environmental document, visit www.meeksbayproject.org. Comments must be submitted or posted before midnight on August 9, 2022.
The agencies will be hosting a virtual public workshop at 5:30 p.m. on June 27, 2022, to provide background on the site and need for the project, review the draft alternatives, and to answer any questions.
TRPA Governing Board Meeting
June 22, 2022
Meeting time to be posted no later than June 15, 2022
Meeting materials and Zoom login will be posted at trpa.gov, seven days prior to the meeting.
June 27, 2022
In addition to the public workshop, a representative stakeholder forum will provide feedback on the draft alternatives and environmental review to ensure the environmental analysis includes the best information and science. The stakeholder forum includes Meeks Bay associations, the Washoe Tribe, and motorized and non-motorized proponents, among others.
The Meeks Bay Restoration Project aims to restore Meeks Creek to a more natural condition while continuing to support sustainable recreation opportunities. This project is multi-stakeholder collaborative initiative convened by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, to engage key community groups and the public at large in the development of project alternatives. Learn more at www.meeksbayproject.org.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.