An unprecedented group of Lake Tahoe destination management, land management, and non-profit organizations, including the Tahoe Fund, launched the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan today with the signing of an agreement to create the first destination stewardship council for the greater Tahoe region. The plan outlines a comprehensive framework and sets in motion action priorities to better manage outdoor recreation and tourism and ensure the sustainability and preservation of an iconic natural treasure and its local community.
Today’s event capped an extensive stakeholder engagement and community visioning process that began in 2022 after the community felt immense challenges initially brought on by COVID. The plan’s vision and actions were developed in collaboration with 17 regional organizations and participation of over 3,000 residents, visitors, and businesses through surveys, interviews, and workshops.
The Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan establishes a shared vision for the region’s recreation and tourism system: A cherished place, welcoming to all, where people, communities, and nature benefit from a thriving tourism and outdoor recreation economy. The plan identifies 32 actions across four strategic pillars:
- Foster a tourism economy that gives back
- Turn a shared vision into shared action
- Advance a culture of caring for the greater Lake Tahoe region
- Improve the Tahoe experience for all
By implementing this plan, member organizations, and Lake Tahoe communities will reinforce their commitment to responsible recreation and tourism practices, ensuring the continued enjoyment of this national treasure for generations to come.
“At its heart, this plan is about taking care of Tahoe for generations to come,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “With the entire region putting this strategy into action, we will be able to build a sustainable future for the Lake Tahoe environment that everyone can enjoy.”
“The launch of the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan represents a significant step forward in preserving the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this beloved destination,” said Tony Karwowski, President and CEO of the North Tahoe Community Alliance. “It demonstrates the commitment and partnership of the local community, government agencies, and tourism industry to safeguard Lake Tahoe’s future.”
“This plan responds to the need to balance a robust tourism economy, a fragile environment and thriving local communities,” said Carol Chaplin, President and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “And the collaboration and commitment by our lakewide partners to achieve that balance is extraordinary and powerful towards achieving our shared vision.”
“As the Tahoe region’s primary economic engine, tourism must be nurtured and shaped to support the wellbeing of its communities, visitors, businesses, natural environment, and cultures,” said Erick Walker, Forest Supervisor of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest. “It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and improve Lake Tahoe and its surrounding lands, tributaries and forests. To protect the quality of the Tahoe experience, it is vital to manage use while providing opportunities for all to enjoy it.”
“The culmination of this plan and creation of Tahoe’s first destination stewardship council underscore the commitment we all share to a brighter future where the lake, our communities and visitors, and the backbone of our regional economy can thrive together,” Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director Julie Regan said. “The diverse makeup of our region has put Lake Tahoe on the forefront of collaborative conservation and today that spirit of partnership is taking us forward to be a model for sustainable recreation and tourism as well.”
To implement the plan, partners agreed today to establish a Lake Tahoe Stewardship Council that will actively engage with stakeholders, residents, and visitors to foster a collective sense of responsibility towards the destination’s sustainability. The plan will be continuously reviewed, updated, and adapted to address emerging challenges and opportunities.
This summer, visitors and residents at Tahoe will see destination stewardship programs already working. Key programs include Take Care Ambassadors at recreation sites and trailheads, expanded litter clean ups, solar compacting trash cans, and coordinated stewardship education campaigns focused on visitors and outdoor recreation users.
For more information about the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan and to access the full plan document, please visit www.stewardshiptahoe.org.
The public can learn more about the plan at an upcoming online webinar on July 10 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. or by signing up for the eNews at www.stewardshiptahoe.org.
The plan was developed in collaboration with 17 regional organizations including the California Tahoe Conservancy, City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, North Tahoe Community Alliance, Placer County, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Prosperity Center, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Travel North Tahoe Nevada, USDA Forest Service – Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Visit Truckee-Tahoe, Washoe County, Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.