Press Releases

Lake Tahoe warming faster than any large lake in the world

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement in response to the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center’s annual Tahoe: State of Lake Report:

“What this report is telling us is that unprecedented changes to the entire Lake Tahoe Basin are now taking place. This is a clarion call-to-action for all who love this lake, the Jewel of the Sierra.

“For the past 20 years, since President Clinton held the first action summit, we’ve been moving ahead to solve numerous problems at the lake. We’ve completed over 500 projects, with another 139 more on the way. Unfortunately, what the State of the Lake Report is telling us, is that this isn’t enough.

“Surface temperatures continue to rise half a degree each year despite all our efforts—that is 14 times faster than the historical average. The hot summer season has increased by 26 days in the last 50 years. It has been 10 years since the Angora Fire, which destroyed 242 homes in South Lake Tahoe. Despite the progress we’ve made since then in addressing the overabundance of fuels in the basin, dead trees have more than doubled from 35,000 to 72,000 in the past year.

“We must strike at the heart of the issues detrimental to the lake. We must be even more aggressive controlling invasive species like the Asian clam and Eurasian watermilfoil, find better ways to manage the three national forests surrounding the lake to clear out dead or dying timber and alleviate increased vehicle emissions from chronic traffic in the surrounding communities.

“The report lays out the problems, but we need a strong continuation of the public-private partnership to solve them. I look forward to discussing these issues at the 21st Tahoe Summit at Valhalla and the meetings following the summit.”

Since the first Lake Tahoe Summit in 1997, an unprecedented partnership including federal, state and local governments, alongside private sector, nonprofit and tribal groups have contributed over $2 billion to restore and preserve Lake Tahoe:

  • $655.2 million by the federal government.
  • $813 million by California.
  • $131 million by Nevada.
  • $108.5 million by local governments.
  • $353.9 million by the private sector.

Over 500 projects have been completed, and 139 more are currently underway, including:

  • Improving erosion control measures on 762.3 miles of roadways.
  • Treating 69,711 acres of hazardous fuels.
  • Restoring 17,325 acres of wildlife habitat, including 1,706 acres of Stream Environment Zones.
  • Adding 3,195 linear feet of shoreline for public access.
  • Creating or improving 153 miles of bike and pedestrian routes.

Since 2009, the Aquatic Invasive Species Program has:

  • Conducted approximately 62,047 watercraft inspections.
  • Performed over 26,191 watercraft decontaminations for all aquatic invasive species.
  • Treated 45 acres of weeds and Asian clams.