Tahoe chambers support call for fire commission | SierraSun.com

Tahoe chambers support call for fire commission

Sun staff report

Lake Tahoe’s two largest chambers of commerce are supporting a call for a Blue Ribbon Fire Commission to explore ways to better manage public forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The call comes in the aftermath of the Angora Fire, which destroyed some 250 homes west of South Lake Tahoe and burned 3,100 acres of forest.

In a June 29 letter to California Gov. Arnold Schwarenegger and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, California state Sen. Dave Cox, whose district includes Tahoe-Truckee, asked the governors to create a joint blue-ribbon commission.

“It’s clear that the current approach to forest fuels management is inadequate,” said President Betty “B” Gorman of the Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

Steve Teshara, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. agreed.

“Business as usual is not acceptable,” he said. “The agencies which manage and regulate the lands and resources of Lake Tahoe need to protect our communities as well. We all need to listen more to the experts on defensible space and wildfire prevention and take action accordingly.”

Carl Ribaudo, chairman of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber board of directors emphasized the need to learn the lessons of the fire.

“We need a fresh perspective to help make sure we learn from . . . the Angora Fire,” Ribaudo said in supporting the creation of a post-fire commission. “It’s time for a thorough, independent review of regulatory and other policies that seem to conflict with the community’s need to improve defensible space.”