Sun editorial: Lake Tahoe deserves answers, not platitudes
LAKE TAHOE and#8212; When the political leaders who represent Lake Tahoe gather at Homewood Tuesday to discuss issues facing the basin, they have to address some big questions facing our lake-wide community.
Some of those questions center on the summit’s theme, and#8220;Stewardship and Sustainability in Challenging Fiscal Times.and#8221; But there are many conflicts around this beautiful piece of earth that have more to do with how those who pledge to protect it go about that promise.
Here are the top four questions we feel must be answered at this year’s Lake Tahoe Summit:
1. What do California legislators plan on doing about Nevada’s adoption of Senate Bill 271? Our local representatives have yet to announce they have made any progress addressing Nevada’s threat to withdraw from the Tahoe Regional Compact by 2015 unless California and the U.S. Congress agree to major changes.
2. Is there enough political will to pass the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, which would bring $415 million over 10 years to improve water clarity, reduce the threat of fire and restore the environment, in these challenging economic times?
3. Will there really be a regional plan passed by the end of 2012, or will we be looking at another failed attempt to move the region forward, like Pathways 2007 and#8212; the still-unrealized and#8220;vision for Lake Tahoe’s futureand#8221;?
4. How can we bridge the differences among the factions at Lake Tahoe, including environmentalists, businesses, private land holders and public agencies?
Many major leaders are expected to attend the summit, including California Gov. Jerry Brown, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Dean Heller, R-Nev. With those leaders in attendance along with other high-ranking federal, state and local officials, this can truly be an event that brings clarity to many of the questions facing Lake Tahoe’s future.
Let’s hope it’s not squandered on grandstanding and empty promises.