Letter to the Editor: There are alternatives to littering
As a fairly new resident of the Tahoe basin I already have a sense of passion for preserving such a beautiful environment. Most locals have a feel for the right way to go about doing this and are pretty environmentally aware in the area, but the 200 million plus tourists who visit annually a year are much less mindful.
This summer was the first time I could see the damage from them. Once the Fourth came and I headed to the beach, I couldn’t enjoy the holiday, all I could think about were the plastic red Solo cups floating past me in the water and watching people everywhere dump their cigarette butts carelessly.
Even on hikes I ran into multiple families and saw them picnic and leave a trail of unfinished sandwiches, chips, and apple cores on the ground and get exited about chipmunks being comfortably close to feed them some trail mix out of their hands.
There are agricultural stops entering Tahoe coming from Reno that should be utilized as a chance to tax tourists. Locals could receive stickers to avoid these taxes but outsiders should be taxed and receive a Leave no Trace card or an educational pamphlet to remind themselves of the easy steps to take while enjoying their time in Tahoe.
Every other national park you enter you will have to go through a park ranger statement and receive this information as well as pay a visitor fee, so I don’t understand why Tahoe is excluded. Or even setting up Leave no Trace booths around busy weekends just to educate outside tourists.
I think the community should push these alternatives rather than just letting the millions of people come into this amazing area and damage it just because they aren’t educated.
Kimberly Brault, SNC student
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