TAMBA, partners busy building multi-use trails

By Amy Fish

Multi-use trails connect our communities to the forest, and the nonprofit Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) and its public partners are working on trail projects that benefit public recreation and the environment at Lake Tahoe, harnessing the power of hundreds of volunteers.

TAMBA has formal partnerships with local land management agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, California State Parks, and the City of South Lake Tahoe.

Through these partnerships and the nonprofit’s dedicated volunteers, TAMBA is focused on improving outdoor recreation opportunities at Tahoe, connecting trails to communities, and ensuring Tahoe’s trails are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Last year, TAMBA hosted 180 volunteer trail days with 8,700 volunteer hours of trail building and maintenance around Lake Tahoe.

South/West Shore projects

Valley View Trail: Volunteers rebuilt the lower section of the trail on Tahoe Mountain last spring after erosion from the massive winter swept out much of the trail. The new route contours the landscape, providing a more sustainable trail alignment.

Corral Trail: More jumps and berms were built on one of the most popular trails at Tahoe.

Angora Ridge/Fallen Leaf Lake Trail System: Volunteers built 5 miles of new trail in partnership with the Forest Service. This trail system is in the Angora Fire burn area and links the North Upper Truckee neighborhood to Angora Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake.

Bijou Bike Park: The jump lines and pump tracks were upgraded keeping the 5-acre bike park in top shape. The bike park is owned and operated by the City of South Lake Tahoe and open to the public for free.

North Shore projects

Incline Flume Trail: TAMBA adopted and upgraded the trail in partnership with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Friends of Incline Trails, and the Tahoe Fund. This historic trail, known as “The Other Flume Trail,” connects Mount Rose Highway to Tunnel Creek Road with amazing Lake Tahoe views.

Elevator Shaft: The Tahoe City trail was rerouted and a new section of trail built to fix a 25-year-old erosion problem. The reroute allows bikers, hikers, and trail runners to access the Tahoe Rim Trail from the Tahoe City Nordic Center via a fun new single-track trail with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe.

Burton Creek State Park: TAMBA and state park crews worked together to build a new trail.

TAMBA has more major trail projects happening all around Lake Tahoe this season. A combination of paid crews and community volunteers are building the collective vision of connecting all communities to the trails.

2018 projects will include a new trail near Mount Rose and Tamarack Lake, improvements to the Kingsbury Stinger Trail, new trails near Fallen Leaf Lake and Angora Ridge, improvements to the Stanford Rock Trail, and a multi-use trail near Kings Beach.

For more information and to get involved, go online.

Amy Fish is a TAMBA board member. This was first published in the summer 2018 issue of Tahoe In Depth.

ZCTC to host Breakfast at Wimbledon

Breakfast at Wimbledon has green courts — just not grass. Photo/Provided

Winter in summer? It will look like it in July at Zephyr Cove Tennis Club.

That’s because the tennis courts will be awash in white as players participate in Breakfast at Wimbledon on July 14, the same weekend the pros play in the finals of the annual all grass tournament.

As is tradition at the All England Club, players in Zephyr Cove will be decked out in all white.

This is a casual-competitive event for anyone to play in. No need to be a member of ZCTC. Players will be paired with a partner that day. The top four teams will win a prize.

Breakfast at Wimbledon begins with breakfast at 9am, followed by play at 10am.

Cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members, and $5 for spectators who want to eat. The first 32 paid entrants are guaranteed a spot. The deadline to sign up is noon on July 7. To do so, go online or to the pro shop at the courts.

While breakfast is included in the price, participants are asked to bring a dish to share and personal beverages.

Zephyr Cove Tennis Club is on Warrior Way off Highway 50 in Zephyr Cove. The nonprofit Zephyr Cove Tennis Club Foundation is hosting the event.

USFS making changes in Incline Village

The U.S. Forest Service has released the draft decision notice and a finding of no significant impact for the Incline Management Plan Project. 

The draft selects alternative 2 as the proposed action. This would bring the land up to NFS standards for stream and habitat management, vegetation management, dispersed recreation management, and road and trails standards. 

Project-specific roads and trails proposals include adopting and rerouting of existing trails; replacing and/or upgrading road and trail stream crossings; installing BMPs, interpretive and wayfinding signs; creating a new trail near the former Incline Lake bed, and resource protection barriers.

Restoration activities would include removing the dam diversion ditch that connects Third Creek to the former Incline Lake bed; restoring stream channels and aquatic species habitat throughout the area; revegetating with native vegetation species areas that are degraded; restoring damage to wetlands, which resulted from water diversion activities; repairing erosion along the Franktown Ditch; developing a plan for future white bark pine management; and reducing tree density in meadow and wetland areas through forest thinning and restoration of Aspen communities.

The purpose of the Forest Plan amendment is to change the management area designation of approximately 400 acres west of Third Creek from general forest to backcountry. 

The documents are online.

Gear and beer talk in South Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Rim Trail Association is partnering with Sidellis of Lake Tahoe for an afternoon of gear and beer.

The July 15 event will be from 2-5pm at the South Lake Tahoe brewery..

It’s an opportunity to check out a variety of different gear options for camping, backpacking, and day hiking while sipping on a beer. 

Sidellis is donating a dollar from every (non-specialty) pint to the TRTA.

For more info, go online.

USFS has plenty of rules for July 4 period

The Fourth of July holiday period signifies the busiest time of year in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is instituting the following annual alcohol bans:

·         Nevada Beach on July 4, from 6am until midnight.

·         Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (former Dreyfus Estate) from June 30 through July 8. This prohibition has been extended for public health and safety and resource protection.

·         Chamber’s Landing Beach from July 1 through July 6.

To ensure compliance, these areas will be patrolled by law enforcement personnel from the Forest Service, state and local law enforcement, and private security staff. 

Possession of fireworks of any kind, including firecrackers and sparklers, is illegal in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Campfires and charcoal fires are only allowed in metal fire rings or stand-up grills provided at developed recreation sites. Campfires, bonfires and portable charcoal grills are not permitted on National Forest beaches, in Desolation Wilderness, Meiss Country or along Genoa Peak Road and the Tahoe Rim Trail. Gas or propane stoves are allowed in all areas with a free, valid California Campfire Permit, available at any Forest Service office.

Expect extremely crowded conditions on local roads, highways, parking lots and around restrooms and portable toilets.

Due to the influx of visitors, mobile device networks may be overwhelmed and mobile phones and other devices may not work in some areas. Develop an alternate plan to contact family and friends and have an emergency plan in place in case you cannot call for help.

Expect Lake Tahoe beaches to be much narrower than in previous years. Some beaches with vegetation or rocky shoreline may be inaccessible.

Consider public transportation, or walk, carpool, or bicycle to avoid limited parking in crowded recreation areas, heavy traffic and delays after the firework displays. At developed recreation sites, such as Kiva, Tallac Historic Site, Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Echo Lake and Angora Lake resorts parking is allowed only in designated parking spaces inside the parking lots, not along the roadway.

Day-use parking fees for July 4 at Pope, Baldwin, and Nevada beaches will be $30 and at Zephyr Cove Beach $40 to cover increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday.

Dogs are not allowed on National Forest designated swim beaches including Nevada, Pope, Baldwin, Meeks Bay, and William Kent. Leashed pets are welcome at Kiva picnic area from the Valhalla Boathouse/Pier to Tallac Point and Echo Lakes on the South Shore; Zephyr Shoals, Hidden and Chimney beaches on the East Shore; Coon Street Beach (at the boat launch) in King’s Beach; Kaspian and 64 acres beaches in Tahoe City.

Trash cans will become full, so plan ahead and keep in mind that Forest Service staff will be handing out trash bags at many recreation sites. Become part of the solution by packing out your own garbage.

High lake level closing Tahoe beaches

A sustained high lake level and added boat wake have started to cause erosion problems along the shoreline at Lake Tahoe.

The eroding beach at Lakeview Commons has already impacted the weekly concerts on Thursday.

Now the California Tahoe Conservancy, which owns that space and other beaches, is limiting public access and temporarily closing portions of some South Shore beaches for public safety and to protect sensitive habitat.

Locations include the Upper Truckee Marsh and other Conservancy ownership near Lakeview Commons.

Here is a map to the beaches.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report

Delayed start to rafting on Truckee River

By Paul Nelson, KTVN-TV

Truckee River Rafting tries to open for the summer months on Memorial Day, but it had to wait a few extra weeks this year. River flows have to be at least 200 cubic feet per second for the company to open and that did not happen until last Thursday, after the federal water master increased water releases at the Tahoe City Dam to 220 cfs.

“The runoff has slowed down, so they’re going to need to release water from Lake Tahoe to supply places like Reno and the surrounding area,” Parker Bell, manager of Truckee River Rafting, said.

The melting snow kept the Truckee River above the legal minimum flows downstream.

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TRPA, boat builders collaborate on designs for AIS

John Paoluccio is confident in his creation to rid invasive plants with UVC light. Photo/LTN file

By Dennis Zabaglo

Ten years ago, when a new threat to Lake Tahoe from invasive species emerged, TRPA stepped up to tackle the challenge.

That challenge, now known throughout the West, was to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, especially quagga mussels. TRPA took the initiative to lead the collaborative partnership to fight invasive species, which is now a national model of success.

Beyond local partnerships, TRPA has expanded relationships at the national level, seeking new methods to prevent a quagga mussel introduction and to prevent and control other species.

TRPA works with the boat industry to develop new components and encourage new thinking when it comes to designing and building boats. For instance, Wake Worx LLC of Florida has developed a filter in collaboration with TRPA, UNR and others. The filter is designed to prevent quagga mussel juveniles and other species from entering ballast tanks on wakeboard boats. Due to the large amount of water that these tanks can hold, invasives could easily be transported to another water body. This innovative filter significantly reduces the risk of transport.

Also helping to prevent the spread is Volvo Penta, which manufacturers boat engines. Starting with model year 2017, stern-drive engines come outfitted with a hose quick-connect designed to simplify and increase effectiveness of hot water decontaminations. The boat industry is embracing work to combat invasives and is committed to partnering with TRPA and others to find new solutions.

To help control invasive species already in the lake, a new technique is in the testing phase. Inventive Resources, Inc. from the Central Valley of California, has invented a method using ultraviolet light to help control aquatic invasive plants. “When I hear ‘it will never work,’ it kicks me into high gear, and makes me even more passionate about using innovation to solve problems. Everything can be improved upon,” said John Paoluccio, owner of Inventive Resources Inc. The project, overseen by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, is showing promising initial results, and the partnership is eager to continue the pilot project with post-monitoring in 2018.

Another new method, called laminar flow aeration, will be tested at two locations with the most dense and complicated aquatic invasive plant infestations at the lake—Ski Run Marina and the Tahoe Keys. Laminar flow aeration injects millions of tiny air bubbles from the bottom to the lake surface, producing constant, parallel layers of flow, with no cloudiness between the layers. The resulting oxygen-rich environment enhances the consumption of the organic layer at the bottom, which plants use for food. If there is less food, then it becomes less likely the plants will survive.

Plants are not the only invasives needing to be controlled. The invasive Asian clam is also a problem at Lake Tahoe. Rubber barriers can kill these unwanted creatures, but the process leaves behind dead shells that are a nuisance. The decomposing shells are visually unappealing and may also add concentrated levels of calcium that make areas of the lake more suitable for other potential invaders like quagga mussels. Here too the private sector is seeking solutions. Aqua Treasures, LLC of Canada has developed equipment that will harvest the clams from the lake bed. Additional development on this invention is still needed, but plans are in the works to test the equipment this fall at Lake Tahoe.

As the adage goes, “you can’t build a house with a hammer alone,” but with continued investment in innovation, the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program will have the tools to continue the success of the past 10 years.

Dennis Zabaglo is Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s aquatic resources program manager. This article is republished from the summer 2018 Tahoe In Depth.

N.Y. expected to overtake Nev. as top U.S. sports betting market

By Mick Akers, Las Vegas Sun

The Supreme Court’s recent overturning of a federal ban on sports betting could clear the path for New York to become the largest U.S. sports wagering market.

By 2023, New York is projected to rake in $700 million annually from sports bets, according to projections by GamblingCompliance, an independent service that monitors gambling legislation.

2023 annual revenues in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are also projected to surpass those of Nevada, estimated at about $300 million. In 2017, Nevada notched a record $248 million in sports wagers.

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Squaw-Alpine owner adds Solitude to portfolio

By Jillian Queri, Powder
Alterra Mountain Company announced its plans last week to acquire Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah.

Denver-based Alterra, which is behind the Ikon Pass, now claims 27 properties (including Solitude) located in the U.S. and Canada. Once the Solitude transaction is complete, 13 of the Ikon mountains will be Alterra properties, with the remaining 14 being partner destinations. The Ikon Pass, which will debut this year, rivals Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, which boasts 65 resorts located worldwide.

Alterra owns Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Mammoth.

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