U.S. Senate OKs $415 million Lake Tahoe Restoration Act | SierraSun.com

U.S. Senate OKs $415 million Lake Tahoe Restoration Act

Staff report

The Lake Tahoe Restoration Act passed the Senate as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, Nevada Sens. Dean Heller and Harry Reid announced on Thursday.

All told, the bill proposes $415 million in funding for Lake Tahoe.

"With five generations of Hellers enjoying the Lake Tahoe Basin, this bill hits close to home for me," Heller said. "As the leading voice on this legislation, I'm proud of the manner in which it was pushed to new heights. Input from all key stakeholders, secured commitments of support from previous opponents, committee passage, and ultimately, success on the Senate floor were all deserved fruits of a hard labor. I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for garnering bipartisan support for this legislation."

Sponsored by Heller and Reid, as well as California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, the legislation is designed to continue the ongoing effort to protect Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Basin from invasive species and devastating wildfires, while restoring Lake Tahoe's water clarity and protecting threatened species and wildlands.

"As the entire world saw last month, the beauty of Lake Tahoe is unparalleled," Reid said. "We must do everything we can to keep it that way."

The bill goes to the House of Representatives, which only has a short time to act before adjournment.

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League to Save Lake Tahoe Executive Director Darcie Goodman Collins issued a statement Thursday, lauding the news.

"… This is a critical step for this important piece of legislation, which we have been working on for years," she said. "Now we need the U.S. House of Representative to pass a similar version of the water act so that these vital measures to protect Lake Tahoe can advance."