The U-S Department of Interior has just announced nearly nine-million in grants for conservation projects around Lake Tahoe and in Nevada. The money comes from federal land sales, but such funding is quickly disappearing.
Hundreds of millions of federal dollars used to pay for Lake Tahoe conservation projects are disappearing.
Julie Regan, with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, says, “At Tahoe, the economy is the environment and the environment is the economy. So we have been relying more on private contributions and we hope to more in the future.”
The TRPA is highlighting business investment in the environment from plant restoration to storm water management. Also the Tahoe Fund was specifically created to manage 600-thousand in dollars of private contributions, mostly from big donors last year. Some of the money paid for a park and a bike trail. But CEO Amy Berry says that money pales in comparison to the federal funding.
“Everybody could see the writing on the wall and so the basin has to get more creative in finding alternative funding mechanisms,” Regan says.
Now, alternative funding could mean smaller donations too. In both Nevada and California Drivers can take part in the new powder for plates program.They buy personalized license plates, proceeds of the sale go to state conservation programs and drivers get lift tickets.