President Clinton plans Lake Tahoe visit in ’97 |

President Clinton plans Lake Tahoe visit in ’97

LAKE TAHOE – President Bill Clinton announced Tuesday night, he will travel to Lake Tahoe late this spring or early summer for a summit on the environment, according to Josh Silverman of the White House Press Secretary’s Office.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, began pursuing the Tahoe Summit in the fall of 1996 but Clinton decided to await further information before making a decision, Reid said. Since then, Reid said he has met with Vice President Al Gore and members of Clinton’s cabinet to discuss the matter.

“The president talked with a number of members of Congress, and state and local elected officials,” Silverman said of the decision. “It is consistent with the president’s priorities and environmental agenda. He understands the vital role the environment plays in the region.”

Reid said there are a number of issues he would like to discuss with the president.

“The quality of the water, dead trees around the lake, transportation in and out of the basin, fire hazards in the basin itself and property rights (decisions) that some people feel they have been treated unfairly (in),” Reid said.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a bistate, federal agency between California and Nevada will argue a property rights case in U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 26.

Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nevada, hopes the summit will give Lake Tahoe “a national focus.”

“The purpose of the summit is to bring the parties – state, local and federal together, to develop a strategy to the problems,” Bryan said.

Among the issues Bryan would like to see tackled during the summit: the deterioration of water quality and the acquisition of the Whittell Mansion on Highway 28.

The date, time and agenda for the summit have not been finalized.Senators Reid, Bryan, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein will work together on an agenda, according to Nichole Duffert, a spokeswoman for Bryan.

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