USFS drafts Tahoe plan

Four alternatives for managing natural beauty of lake open for comment

The U.S. Forest Service has drafted a four-point plan for maintaining the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe, which draws more than 3 million tourists to contribute about $1 billion to the local economy each year.

Vacation resorts, hotels, homes and recreation have proven detrimental, particularly to the clarity of the lake, which steadily has gotten worse over the past 40 years, according to The plan, last updated in 1988, will provide guidelines for recreation and natural-resource management on 154,000 acres of public land surrounding the lake. Four alternatives are outlined, all of which address sustainable recreation, wildlife habitat, watershed and forest health, aquatic ecosystems, hazardous fuels and access to forests, trails, roads and facilities.

The plan will be open for public comment until Aug. 30 and can be reviewed online at, with a final draft expected by the end of the year.