Capital Public Radio records final TahoeLand podcast at Edgewood

Laney Griffo
Special to the Sierra Sun
Romero spoke with Director of Tahoe Environmental Research Center Geoffrey Shladow.
Laney Griffo/ Tahoe Daily Tribune

About 100 people gathered at Edgewood Tahoe for a live recording of Capital Public Radio’s TahoeLand podcast — the final episode of the series.

Fans of the podcast gathered Wednesday night, Sept. 25, as host Ezra David Romero spoke with panelists about all things Lake Tahoe.

The eight-episode podcast, which is a semi-sequel to YosemiteLand, focuses on how climate change is affecting the Tahoe region, from the color of the lake, to bears, to housing.

The first episode begins will dire predictions for Tahoe in the year 2099, with the lake’s blue hue gone, cigarette butts floating on the water, the air barely breathable.

You can listen Capital Public Radio’s the series here.

Although this introduction paints a terrible picture, Romero wants to inspire people to prevent this future from happening.

“Sure there’s bad news bears but there’s hope, there’s all this science happening there,” Romero said.

Romero grew up visiting Tahoe but said he gained a new appreciation for the lake during the year he spent working on the podcast.

“I’ve always loved Tahoe but you have a different appreciation getting to know it’s people,” Romero said.

Romero spoke to a range of scientists and specialists throughout the podcast including water clarity, fire, bear and snow experts. He also spoke to casinos, resorts and housing experts.

His focus was, “What’s being done on the ground and is there hope for this place?”

During the live recording, those experts gathered to answer listener questions and do a deeper dive into the issues.

Romero said while making the podcasts he was amazed by “the magnitude of how many climate change stories there are.”

“Every sector is affected by the extremes and variability in weather,” he said.

One story that didn’t make the cut but stood out to Romero was a conversation he had with Andy Anderson, a forecaster with Sierra Avalanche Center, about how climate change is affecting avalanches.

The live recording gave listeners a chance to hear some of the stories that didn’t make it in.

Helen Fillmore, a member of the Washoe Tribal Council, gave a speech on the Native American view of the issue.

“The dire predictions for the year 2099; 2019 is our ancestors version of that,” Fillmore said. “We are living in their worst case scenario.”

Romero spoke to South Lake Tahoe Councilmember Devin Middlebrook, someone who is taking charge on climate change action in the city.

Middlebrook asked Romero to not just focus on the bad.

“He told me there are some good things that are happening,” Romero said.

During the event, Romero spoke to League to Save Lake Tahoe Executive Director Darcie Goodman Collins, who talked about the inspiration of the July 5 trash cleanup.

While the podcast focuses solely on Lake Tahoe, Romero wants people all over the world to learn from it.

“We used Tahoe as an example of how climate change can affect the world,” Romero said.

Middlebrook said he hopes the initiatives he and the city are working on can make South Lake Tahoe a global leader on fighting climate change.

The event also offered guests interactive experiences. Attendees talked to the League to Save Lake Tahoe about their initiatives, learn about bear boxes and look through virtual reality glasses at the work UC Tahoe Environmental Research Center does in the basin.

All current episodes can be heard on podcast streaming services and the final two episodes, including the live recording, will be released Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Laney Griffo is a reporter with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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