Here come Clinton and Gore

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are coming to Lake Tahoe in late July for a summit on the lake's environment and development. It will be the first time that a president has ever visited the area for policy or pleasure while in office.

The summit is the result of relentless advocacy by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has been urging the president to convene a federal conference to focus national attention on Lake Tahoe. Reid described the lake as "a national treasure in trouble." But the administration's interest in coming to Lake Tahoe is not to get tied up in the basin's knotty problems so much as to bathe in the reflected glow of "a place where the environment is the heart of a healthy economy," as one White House official put it when Clinton agreed to the summit.

"What the people in the Tahoe basin have done is very much in line with many of the underlying principles of this administration," said Tom Tuchmann, an Agriculture Department official who is coordinating the summit. "People with different perspectives on natural resources are sitting around a table to work through their differences."

The summit, tentatively scheduled for July 26-27, will include some combination of tours, workshops and meetings. "We're working with the folks on the ground to figure out how to best use the president's and vice president's time," Tuchmann said. "The process is going to be bottoms up." The western director for the office of the secretary of Agriculture, Tuchmann organized the Clinton administration's forest summit in Portland, Ore.

This summit will be very different: "The forest conference was organized to resolve an issue that was in crisis mode," Tuchmann said. "There was no agreement on either side. It was being resolved in the courts. What's different with Tahoe is that the people of the region have had their ups and downs, but they have worked through a common vision with themselves in a partnership and are now seeking assistance to help them complete their vision."

Tuchmann said the summit agenda will likely include water quality, transportation, forest health, air quality and redevelopment, as well as the Washoe Indian tribe's rights around the lake. The lake is at the center of the tribe's traditional territory and they call it the source of their spiritual identity, but they have no land at the lake.

For the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, money is at the top of the agenda. The TRPA has a $730 million laundry list of projects to stem the decline of Lake Tahoe. When the TRPA capital financing committee met in March to discuss the summit, board chairman Drake Delanoy joked that perhaps the TRPA should turn the highway into Tahoe into a "toll road for the president."

For information contact the coordinating office of the Lake Tahoe presidential event at 888-823-4925.

High Country News Classifieds
  • MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Marketing Communications Manager to join our...
  • EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks an Editor-In-Chief to join our senior team...
  • RESEARCH FELLOW (SOUTHWESTERN U.S. ENERGY TRANSITION)
    The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) in partnership with the Grand Canyon Trust is seeking a full-time Fellow to conduct topical research...
  • LENDER OWNED FIX & FLIP
    2 houses on 37+ acres. Gated subdivision, Penrose Colorado. $400k. Possible lender financing. Bob Kunkler Brokers Welcome.
  • ONCE OR TWICE
    A short historical novel set in central Oregon based on the the WWII Japanese high altitude ballon that exploded causing civilian casualties. A riveting look...
  • HISTORIC LODGE AND RESTAURANT - FULLY EQUIPPED
    Built in 1901, The Crazy Mountain Inn has 11 guest rooms in a town-center building on 7 city lots (.58 acres). The inn and restaurant...
  • HOUSE FOR SALE
    Rare mountain property, borders National Forest, stream nearby. Pumicecrete, solar net metering, radiant heat, fine cabinets, attic space to expand, patio, garden, wildlife, insulated garage,...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER- NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
    Want to organize people to protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life with Northern Plains Resource Council? Apply now-...
  • CONSERVATION MANAGER
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is hiring an energetic and motivated Conservation Manager to develop and complete new conservation projects and work within...
  • POLLINATOR OASIS
    Seeking an experienced, hardworking partner to help restore a desert watershed/wetland while also creating a pollinator oasis at the mouth of an upland canyon. Compensation:...
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.