Tahoe Keys Stakeholder Committee Progress Report June 2020

This report describes the accomplishments and progress made by the Stakeholder Committee in the development of the proposed Tahoe Keys Control Methods Test Project and the associated environmental impact analysis.

This document also describes next steps for the Stakeholder Committee as the lead agencies, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Lahontan Water Board), enter the review of the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statement/Review (EIS/EIR).

Background

In 2018, the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association (TKPOA), TRPA and the Lahontan Water Board initiated an environmental review process for testing different aquatic invasive weed treatment options in the Tahoe Keys Lagoons. As part of this process, a stakeholder committee was formed to provide input and guidance on designing the proposed project as well as designing a collaborative public engagement process. Stakeholder committee members include TKPOA, the lead agencies, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, and the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association.

Stakeholder Committee Accomplishments

The Tahoe Keys Stakeholder Committee was instrumental in bringing different viewpoints to the project design and associated environmental analysis. The committee met nearly monthly between September 2018 – June 2019 and approximately quarterly between July 2019 – May 2020.  Accomplishments include:

  • Developing a shared understanding of the problem and stakeholder interests: The committee shared information with each other on the weeds problem in the Tahoe Keys, the lake-wide aquatic invasive species control program, the history of management and projects to date, and the different stakeholder perspectives on finding solutions. They all agreed that this is a lake-wide problem, and all have an interest in being part of the solution.
  • Developing the proposed project: The Stakeholder Committee agreed that the project should focus on testing a variety of methods on a smaller scale to inform a larger-scale treatment plan. This approach would allow TKPOA and the lead agencies to learn more about the impacts and efficacy of the treatment options in the unique environment of the Tahoe Keys. This was a major turning point in TKPOA reshaping their proposed project.
  • Developing a schedule and public engagement process: The committee worked together to develop a schedule that would be feasible to meet the needs of the project and give the opportunity for robust public engagement. The Stakeholder Committee augmented the stakeholder and public outreach done by the lead agencies through their organizations and networks to garner feedback from the public to help shape the project.
  • Providing feedback on the scope of the environmental analysis: The committee gave feedback to the lead agencies on what they and their constituencies feel are important aspects of the project that should be included in the environmental documentation. This feedback expanded the scope to include a more in-depth analysis of the No Action Alternative (what happens if no project moves forward), expanded testing of non-chemical treatments, and independent review of the analysis.

Future Stakeholder Committee Role

The lead agencies will release a draft EIS/EIR in July 2020. The Stakeholder Committee will continue to meet periodically throughout the public review period and development of the final document in spring of 2021. These meetings will focus on providing feedback to the lead agencies on the environmental analysis with opportunity for discussion and problem-solving amongst the committee on their viewpoints.  The committee will also help the lead agencies share information to the public on the proposed project and public engagement opportunities to encourage others to provide feedback on the environmental analysis.

The Stakeholder Committee is not required to reach agreement on the preferred final project and associated environmental analysis. Each organization on the committee will submit unique comments and feedback on the draft EIS/EIR. The goal of the committee is to provide a forum for discussion amongst the stakeholders for problem solving and understanding of viewpoints. The lead agencies will have the final decision-making authority on the final project and outcomes of the Final EIS/EIR.