My Turn: Tim Leslie has it backwards
Regarding Mr. Leslie’s resignation letter (Sierra Sun, Jan. 24: “Tim Leslie resigns from TRPA”), there is a question of semantics to be resolved. He says when the TRPA Governing Board is confronted by the Sierra Club “and a room full of angry members, who for the most part are concerned with their narrow interests rather than sustaining the benefits of our international treasure, they will be unable to approve an economically viable project.”
In actuality, the Sierra Club is fighting every day to protect our international treasure, Lake Tahoe; certainly not many of the developers who want to capitalize on the Lake’s beauty and fame to make a profit.
To suggest the Sierra Club has “narrow interests” is therefore absurd. Conversely, most of the developers who seek to build massive projects on our sensitive lands do have a narrow interest: They want to get their time-shares and condos built as close to the lake as possible to make as much money as possible.
And many, not all, who speak in favor of development of many of these large projects have a financial stake as well, or in some cases, are employees of the developer asked by their employer to attend a Board meeting to show support. The Sierra Club is not opposed to development per se, just over-development. The Sierra Club recognizes that rational and environmentally sensitive development is necessary for the Lake’s growth.
Dennis Oliver of TRPA was correct when he said there was not enough “higher conversation about the Lake itself.” The Sierra Club is concerned about sustaining the benefits of our international treasure for our children and grandchildren by restoring the famed clarity of the Lake, providing clean air, keeping our forests healthy, and to ensure that laws and plans intended to protect the Lake Tahoe Basin are properly enforced.
Ron Grassi is the Co-Conservation Chair of the Tahoe Area Sierra Club.
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