Lake Tahoe gears for Round 11 of federal SNPLMA funding | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe gears for Round 11 of federal SNPLMA funding

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Environmental improvement remains a priority for basin-wide agencies.

The Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee recently revealed the 21 capital projects and science themes available for funding to help restore the Lake Tahoe Basin ecosystem, using grant money from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.

SNPLMA is a federal program which allows the United States Bureau of Land Management to sell off parcels of federally owned land in Clark County near the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The revenue generated from these real estate transactions funds projects which help enhance ecological systems in the Lake Tahoe Basin, under the purview of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, a piece of federal legislation passed in 2000.

and#8220;Over the past few years, SNPLMA has been the single most important funding source for environmental projects in Lake Tahoe Basin,and#8221; said Rex Norman, public affairs officer with the U.S. Forest Service. and#8220;It’s been a really effective program.and#8221;

LTFAC, a basin-wide agency made up of representatives from a broad array of Lake Tahoe Region agencies, administers the coordination and integration of federal programs aimed at improving the economic and environmental health of the region.

In keeping with that mission, LTFAC has begun soliciting public input on how to best distribute the 21 capital projects and science themes included in the recently formulated preliminary recommendation package.

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and#8220;The Tahoe Working Group and the Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee have deliberated over the last two months and have prepared the preliminary recommendation package for public comment,and#8221; said LTFAC Chairman Andrew Strain in a written statement. and#8220;The preliminary recommendation package includes three potential funding scenarios that consider different splits and project products with the remaining Lake Tahoe SNPLMA commitment of approximately $68.1 million.and#8221;

In other words, about $68 million of the original $300 million pledged as part of the 2000 Lake Tahoe Restoration Act remains for LTFAC to use in environmental improvement projects. With two rounds remaining in the SNPLMA program, LTFAC decided to divide the available money evenly between rounds 11 and 12 and has presented the public with three different funding configurations:

and#8226; The first preliminary recommendation would fund 15 capital projects for $29,999,353, and science at $3,165,000.

and#8226; The second preliminary recommendation would fund 18 capital projects for $34,008,353, and science at $3,750,000.

and#8226; The third preliminary recommendation would fund 18 capital projects for $30,930,353 and science at $3,750,000.

and#8220;To get broad public participation in this issue will really help decision makers develop projects which impacts the most amount of people,and#8221; said Norman. and#8220;People care about this place and they are passionate when it comes to environmental improvement, so I think involving the public in the process is tremendously beneficial.and#8221;

The preliminary recommendation package is posted on the SNPLMA Lake Tahoe website for public review and comment at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/snplma.html.

Residents may submit comments at comments-pacificsouthwest-ltbmu@fs.fed.us no later than close of business on Monday, April 5. Written comments may be submitted by regular mail to Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Attention: Linda Lind, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150.