Tahoe park plan would affect us all
November 21, 2005
I don’t usually get all wired about issues out of my own immediate community, but this particular topic is one that should be of interest to us all.For those who aren’t aware of it, there have been discussions for several years considering the development of the Burton Creek area near Tahoe City into a state park. A park in this area could be a good thing for the people of California.Last Friday, the California State Park Commission came to Tahoe City to hold a “public hearing” and deliberate the adoption of a General Plan for the park. Without a general plan, the development of a park could not move forward. It was clear however, that the commissioners had made up their minds before they got to the public hearing, on which proposed alternative to the plan they would adopt.What is most disturbing about the adopted Burton Creek General Plan, is the commission approved the plan alternative that could bring the biggest negative impact to the North Tahoe community and the plan area. Those impacts include traffic from up to 200 campsites, air pollution, noise and the degradation of wildlife habitat. So why should you and I care? It isn’t in our neighborhood. Well, it is in our neighborhood. Every project ultimately has an impact on our environment and those of our neighbors. As an example, folks visiting the new park will have to get there somehow and that will increase traffic on Highway 89 and Highway 267. Then there is the failure of Highway 28. We need to keep in mind the cumulative effect on all of the projects that come down the pike.At the public hearing one of the park commissioners berated the local community calling it “selfish” and not caring about the rest of the state’s citizens. The commissioner insulted the audience and dismissed their concerns. These folks came to the hearing in good faith trying to adopt a plan that would minimize the negative impacts on the local community and wildlife while providing quality recreation for visitors to the park. I wanted to jump up and shout “do the rest of the citizens care about us when they come to visit and are loud, obnoxious, rude, leave their trash anddisregard the importance our protecting our resources?”But being the lady I am I didn’t. So what is my point now that I have raved on about this? I want to urge the citizens of Truckee and surrounding communities to take an interest in the Burton Creek Park. As projects are proposed for these 2,000 plus acres of beautiful forest, we should be there with our comments and concerns so that we end up with a facility that both protects our precious resources and provides a quality park experience.Attending the commissioners’ meeting was not a total loss, however, as Commissioner Clint Eastwood was in attendance and chaired the hearing. He seemed to be the only Commissioner who would be willing to look at alternatives.Lynne Larson is a Truckee resident.