How the Lake wins
'The people have spoken and we are listening!'
After attending the first four Destination Stewardship Public Workshops, it seems the #1 stewardship desire for Tahoe's residents is...Lake preservation! (a 'shared vision'?)
It's nice to see some Geotourism (destination stewardship) adoption on Tahoe's Visitor sites, and the support of micro transit with TOT funds. However, if we are to seriously address the long-standing challenges of fully promoting a Visitor Menu of activities conducive to protecting the Lake we will need to hold the mirror a little closer. And the increase in Short Term Rental lodging without an onsite host (like a hotel without a manager) compounds the pressures of how the mix of public and private interests surrounding the lake and controlling access and activities to this National Treasure have different goals,
Yet, our watershed has this Wealth of Local Stewards and Stewardship Guidelines:
Why aren't they leading this effort??
Along with training a "Boots-on-the-Ground" Stewardship Team to learn from our Experts as they (the generation inheriting our 20-year Roadmap) co-create this 'Destination Stewardship Tahoe Plan' they then implement?
Once trained, ensure these new "Lake Rangers" are supported and paid, (especially since our Experts will be leaving at the end of their contract). The same Federal, State and private funding sources used for these consultants (and the clean-up required from not shifting visitor expectations and behaviors) could support an ongoing stewardship implementation program (with housing) that follows mandates for a National Treasure.
As Sue Daniels in the Kings Beach workshop said, " The Lake does not owe us a living." However, living in a destination, we owe The Lake mitigation for our foothold and a shared responsibility to help guide travelers that we encounter to adopt our Tahoe culture of caring; a culture that we can sustain as we lead by example.
Let the games begin and this time let’s ensure the Lake Wins!
National Geographic Sustainable Destinations appointed Geotourism (destination stewardship) Liaison of Lake Tahoe