LAKE TAHOE DESTINATION STEWARDSHIP PLAN

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is this project?

This planning process is about improving the way outdoor recreation and tourism in the greater Tahoe region is managed.

Tourism and recreation can have both positive and negative effects on Lake Tahoe and its communities. Population shifts inside and outside the region, hotter temperatures throughout the West, and the increasing popularity of outdoor recreation will continue to draw people to enjoy Tahoe’s incredible beauty, public lands, businesses, and amazing recreation opportunities.

While Lake Tahoe’s communities and economy are rooted in recreation and tourism, increasing impacts are affecting the lake, quality of life for residents and second homeowners, and the experience of visitors and recreators. The region is coming together to create a shared vision and destination stewardship plan that will better manage these impacts and harmonize the needs of the environment, businesses, visitors, and local communities. This new shared strategy will inspire all to take care of Tahoe.

What is Destination Stewardship?

A destination stewardship plan is a strategic approach to recreation and tourism management that focuses on environmental, cultural, social, and economic sustainability. It is a strong strategy for bringing people together, engaging stakeholders, supporting economic stability, protecting natural and cultural amenities, and improving access for all. One of destination stewardship’s core goals is ensuring communities, land managers, and tourism agencies are wholly invested in the decision-making and planning processes.

Why does the region need this?

The greater Tahoe region is seeing and feeling increased pressure at outdoor recreation areas. Compounding this is the need for infrastructure improvements as well as a greater sense of shared stewardship in the region. These issues are impacting the environment as well as local communities. As outdoor recreation and tourism continue to grow nationally and globally, unique places like Tahoe will likely become more and more popular.

At the same time, 90 percent of the Tahoe Basin, approximately 177,000 acres, is public land where equitable access for all will remain a high priority. Residents and second homeowners share this wealth of public trails, beaches, backcountry areas, and public highways with approximately 15 million overnight and day visitors annually. These visitors help create more than 60 percent of jobs and form the foundation of the region’s $5.1 billion economy.

Recreation and tourism at Lake Tahoe needs to be collaboratively managed in ways that protect natural resources and local ways of life.

Who is involved?

An unprecedented collaboration of public and private sector organizations from the greater Tahoe region, including Truckee*, have come together to develop a shared vision and destination stewardship plan to better manage outdoor recreation and visitation. For the first time, regional land managers, local governments, visitors authorities, the Washoe Tribe, and non-profits are working together on a coordinated destination management framework that will inspire all to take care of Tahoe.

*Visit Truckee-Tahoe launched Sustainable Truckee in 2020 and is also developing a Truckee Stewardship Plan, separate yet interdependent with the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan. Learn more at SustainableTruckee.com

Go to the Who We Are page for more information.

Is the project addressing regional housing challenges?

Project proponents and community members recognize the crisis the greater Tahoe region is experiencing in housing.

Today, more than half of all workers in the greater Lake Tahoe region do not live here. Home prices have increased 35% since 2020, now averaging $875,000. To put this into perspective, a person or couple would need a combined annual income of $130,562 ($63 per hour, full time) to afford the average priced home. The lack of affordable housing for local workers impacts qualify of life, leads to longer commute times, and poses a risk to local essential services.

The Destination Stewardship Plan is working closely with on-going regional affordable housing initiatives, including those listed below.

Housing Assessment and Action Plan

Housing Study

Additionally, local governments in the region are managing the impact of short-term rentals on housing through their own, separate programs.

Is the project addressing the need for transportation improvements?

The Destination Stewardship Plan recognizes the challenges the region is experiencing with traffic congestion, parking at recreation hot spots, and travel options. From Meyers to Truckee, community members and those that recreate in Tahoe are in dire need of alternative transportation options and better management of parking and peak roadway use. The plan is working closely with on-going transportation initiatives, including those listed below.

Regional Transportation Plan

Linking Tahoe

Is Truckee involved with this?

Yes! Truckee’s tourism authority, Visit Truckee-Tahoe, is a vested partner in the Lake Tahoe Stewardship Plan. In addition, Visit-Truckee Tahoe launched Sustainable Truckee in 2020 and is also developing a Truckee Stewardship Plan, separate yet interdependent with the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan. Learn more at SustainableTruckee.com

How do I get involved?

Creating a destination stewardship plan requires participation from everyone. To give all a chance to take part, public visioning workshops are being held in several locations during May. Virtual sessions will be available as well. Register for a workshop and sign up for the eNews to get ongoing updates and event invites.

Visit the Roadmap page for more information.

What is the process and timeline?

Work started with the project core team in February 2022 and the plan is expected to be complete in approximately 12 months. The project team is conducting a thoughtful process that taps into a full range of perspectives and surfaces new solutions for recreation and tourism related challenges.

Visit the Roadmap page for the project timeline.

Who do I contact about this project?

You can get in touch about the project at tahoe@responsibletravel.org.

Sign up for Tahoe Stewardship News or check back here when you can.

Who will have access to the final results?

The project team is committed to a transparent and inclusive process and looks forward to sharing updates and the final results with communities and the public. The team will post information on the News and Updates page of this website, and through community and media outreach.