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Ascent Environmental, Inc.
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Honey Walters

Heather Phillips

Lake Tahoe’s Pioneering Approach to
Regional Sustainability Planning

Congratulations to the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative, Tahoe Basin Partnership for Sustainable Communities, Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization (TMPO), and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) for the release of the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Action Plan. This is a major milestone for the Lake Tahoe Sustainable Communities Program.
The Sustainability Action Plan is a toolkit for Tahoe Region agencies to consistently incorporate sustainability into all aspects of planning. Many cross-cutting sustainability strategies are addressed, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, climate change adaptation and resilience, natural resource protection, community health, social equity, and economic prosperity. The plan empowers the community to participate by offering ideas to residents, businesses, schools, and visitors to reduce their own environmental impact and help implement the plan.
The Sustainability Action Plan builds upon the Regional Plan and Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) adopted in 2012. The plan includes the Region’s first complete GHG emissions inventory, prepared by the California Tahoe Conservancy, and establishes a consistent system for local governments to incorporate GHG reduction into Area Plans. This system includes a menu of actions with estimated GHG reduction potentials and a spectrum of implementation levels (i.e., voluntary actions, incentive-based programs, and requirements) that allows agencies to tailor degrees of commitment suited to their communities.
Understanding and preparing for the impacts of climate change in the Lake Tahoe Region is a key feature of the plan. Climate change risks and vulnerabilities are identified, along with candidate actions to assist the Region in becoming more climate-resilient. Key vulnerability areas included water quality, threat of wildfire, impacts to forest health and biological resources, and threats to the winter-season, tourism-based economy.
This regional toolkit approach to sustainability planning is the first-of-its-kind in California and Nevada. The plan recognizes that everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable Lake Tahoe Region.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact TRPA Senior Policy Analyst, Karin Edwards; Ascent Principal, Honey Walters; or Ascent Senior Climate Change Specialist, Heather Phillips.
The work upon which this publication is based was funded in whole or in part through a grant awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council.

Ascent Environmental, Inc. is a forward-looking environmental consultancy. We offer our extensive CEQA and NEPA, regulatory compliance, climate action planning, and natural resources experience with the goal of providing personal service and high quality results to our clients on their most important projects. We are certified as a small business and women-owned business enterprise.
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