Prized for its stunningly clear water, Lake Tahoe is referred to by many as the jewel of the Sierra. It is recognized nationally and globally as a natural resource of significance and is designated as an Outstanding National Resource Water under the Clean Water Act. Past land uses combined with present day use impacts required the development of regulations for Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in order to support actions to reduce excessive pollutant inputs to the lake.
The US Forest Service has collaborated successfully over the past 15 years with local, state, and federal partners to accomplish riparian restoration. These restoration projects have been implemented in wildland and urban environments to achieve multiple benefits, focusing on ecosystem function to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, as well as providing high quality recreation. The projects implemented in the Lake Tahoe Basin used a range of techniques and tools, which have been successful/resilient during both drought and flood events. The short term responses (over last 12 years) suggest the techniques employed in the Lake Tahoe Basin will be continue to be resilient under future climate, at least in the near term.