Tahoe Fund seeks solutions to environmental challenges in Lake Tahoe Basin | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Fund seeks solutions to environmental challenges in Lake Tahoe Basin

From combatting invasive species in Lake Tahoe to building out local bike trails, the Tahoe Fund has worked over the past few years to help support numerous projects across the Tahoe Basin since its founding in 2010.

In its next step toward improving Lake Tahoe’s environment, the Tahoe Fund has opened its annual online project submission portal for endeavors that will help solve environmental challenges facing the area.

“The Tahoe Fund is looking for ideas and projects that will have a real impact on the Basin’s environment,” said Kevin Marshall, Tahoe Fund Projects Committee Member and Clear Capital President, in a statement. “With the support of the private community, the Tahoe Fund has the passion and ability to get high return projects done.”

The Tahoe Fund has raised funds from private donors for more than 25 environmental improvement projects since 2010, according to a statement from the organization, which have included new bike paths at Kings Beach, watershed restorations, removal of aquatic invasive species, and environmental stewardship programs. Roughly four years ago, Tahoe Fund began encouraging submissions for funding of new innovative ideas.

“We decided to open it up, and do a call for projects,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “I think this year, we are really hitting our stride in terms of understanding what we’re looking for and really opening up, expanding, and trying to reach more people.”

For this year’s open entries, the Tahoe Fund is seeking projects that will improve Lake Tahoe’s environment, reduce the risk of wildfire, and address climate change by enhancing water quality, restoring watershed, creating healthier forests, improving transportation and fostering recreation, according to information from Tahoe Fund, while also seeking to foster a greater sense of stewardship in the Tahoe Basin.

In order to be chosen, projects must demonstrate that any necessary environmental permits will be obtained, and that they enjoy strong community support and have other sources of funding identified. The Tahoe Fund is currently seeking projects with fundraising goals between $5,000 and $1 million, which will be reviewed by the Tahoe Fund Projects Committee, with selections announced in May or June.

“We usually have between three and five projects every year that are active,” Berry said. “Some are multi-year projects like the Incline to Sand Harbor bike path.”

Another project that was recently tested out and was chosen by the Tahoe Fund two years ago, is the UV Light Pilot Project, which uses ultraviolet light as a method of controlling aquatic invasive species.

“That one we love, because it was just a guy who had a really cool idea, and it’s like, ‘Let’s go test it out and see what happens,’” said Berry. “The very early results are very encouraging, and we’re hoping that’s going to be a new solution for aquatic invasive weeds. We’re looking for more projects like that — something that’s a neat, new idea, and has never been tried in Tahoe before.”

The Tahoe Fund is actively raising funds for two projects, The Sugar Pine Reforestation project, which is helping to fight tree mortality in the Tahoe Basin, and the Aquatic Invasive Bottom Barrier Challenge, which is working toward removing aquatic invasive weeds from the lake.

Any project seeking 2018 support should submit a proposal by Jan. 31.

For more information on helping current projects or to submit a project idea, visit TahoeFund.org.

The Tahoe fund is a nonprofit organization incorporated in Nevada and California, according to its website, and seeks to enhance the environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin by building support and funding on environmental improvement projects that help restore lake clarity, improve outdoor recreation, and build a strong sense of stewardship.

Staff writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643 or via email at jscacco@sierrasun.com

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