Environment Features


Nature’s Dazzling Display

Summer 2016       By Will Richardson      

Read Article

How Healthy are Tahoe’s Forests?

Summer 2015       By Sylas Wright      

Sierra Nevada scientists and foresters scramble for a solution to the stresses drought and insects are causing the range's trees

Read Article

Pines to Pyramid

Best of Tahoe 2016      

Committed conservationists revitalize the Truckee River

Read Article

Tahoe’s Invasives: Are They Really That Bad?

Summer 2016       By Matthew Renda      

Read Article

Environment Articles


Trickle Down

Best of Tahoe 2015       Written By Dylan Silver      

Retention basins to capture and clean stormwater are Tahoe’s best bet for increased clarity

On rainy days and as the snow melts from the mountains, Cara Moore takes to the battleground. Her fight? The war against Lake Tahoe’s clarity loss.       As dirty runoff…

Read Article

Saving the River at its Source

Summer 2016       Written By Greyson Howard      

In a remote granite bowl on the western Sierra Crest, unassuming snowfields melt into small braided streams among mule’s ear flowers and pines, slowly gathering together and gaining force, cutting…

Read Article

The Water’s Edge

Best of Tahoe 2014       Written By Greyson Howard      

Scientists' quest for knowledge, funding on Lake Tahoe's nearshore area

Ask an average Tahoe local or well-versed visitor how scientists track Lake Tahoe’s legendary water clarity and they might know about a white disk lowered into The Lake to the…

Read Article

Bipartisan Support to Keep Tahoe Blue

Best of Tahoe 2016       Written By Matthew Renda      

Tahoe's Congressional delegation--in both houses and on both sides of the aisle--focus on funding environmental initiatives at Lake Tahoe

Ideally, the Upper Truckee River Marsh functions as Lake Tahoe’s lungs.       For centuries, the marsh served as a natural filtration system for the Upper Truckee River, the largest of…

Read Article

Warming Waters

Best of Tahoe 2016       Written By Dylan Silver      

Study shows rapid warming in the world's lakes, including Tahoe

A recent NASA study funded by the National Science Foundation shows climate change is rapidly warming the world’s inland bodies of water.       What does this mean for Lake Tahoe?…

Read Article

Mixing Things Up

Winter 2014-2015      

Storms and cold temperatures stir Tahoe during the winter months

Written by Will Richardson In previous Natural Rhythms we have briefly touched on the unique property of water in that, unlike almost all other substances, water molecules expand when they…

Read Article

The Pressure is On

Winter 2015-2016       Written By Meghan Herbst      

Tahoe meteorologist Elizabeth Austin makes waves half a world away

The winds are picking up at all levels and the polar vortex, a surge of cold air from the South Pole, is active. In El Calafate, Argentina, the Perlan Glider…

Read Article

Tapping the Sky

Ski & Ride 2016       Written By Jeff DeLong      

With the use of drones, Reno–Tahoe area is on the front line of cloud-seeding technology   As winter storms approach the Sierra, experts with an eye toward squeezing every possible…

Read Article

Lake Tahoe Utility Districts Begin Mandatory Conservation

Summer 2015       Written By Dylan Silver      

California water-savings directive leads local utility districts to institute belt-tightening

Anyone visiting Lake Tahoe can see California’s drought firsthand. Beaches, especially those on the north and south shores, have turned into acres of sand. Piers stand tall on dry pillars,…

Read Article

Tahoe’s Mammoth Trout Swimming back from extinction

Best of Tahoe 2013      

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are making their way back from near-extinction

Written by Jacqueline Ginley Last winter, Matt Ceccarelli was fishing at the shores of Pyramid Lake, like he had since childhood, when his line caught on something.       “At first…

Read Article

Brockway Summit Emerges as Conservation Flashpoint

Mountain Home Awards 2016       Written By Matthew Renda      

Camping development stems from conservation land swap

A recent proposal for a 550-unit campground atop Brockway Summit has conservation groups and developers at odds over how much development the region can support. The development agreement, which includes…

Read Article

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center to Expand

Ski & Ride 2014       Written By Dylan Silver      

The beloved and over-loaded Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center is expanding beyond its modest South Lake Tahoe beginnings

Cheryl Millham opens the door of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care with an overwrought expression on her face. Still mixing a bottle of animal formula, she asks, “Who are you?”      …

Read Article

Tahoe Crayfish: Catch-and-Export

Ski & Ride 2014       Written By Dylan Silver      

Fishermen find European market for Lake Tahoe crayfish

Fred Jackson opens the freezer door in his new Gardnerville warehouse and a billow of steam rolls out from the cold space. Other than a few bags of still-crawling crayfish,…

Read Article

The Battle over the Plan

Summer 2013       Written By Matthew Renda      

The Sierra Club brings suit against TRPA regional plan update

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is situated firmly in the eye of a hurricane of controversy with the December passage of its Regional Plan Update. Years of grueling debate…

Read Article

Swimming Back from the Brink

Summer 2015      

How scientists and conservationists are working to protect Tahoe’s native fish

Written by Will Richardson Without question, the principal environmental feature defining the Lake Tahoe region is The Lake, and by extension the watercourses making up the entire Truckee River watershed.…

Read Article

Tahoe’s Felines: A Rare Sight

Summer 2014       Written, Photography By Ryan Salm      

Tahoe's bobcats and mountain lions are mysterious--and beautiful

Written by Will Richardson We are extremely fortunate at Tahoe to be surrounded by natural beauty, which includes a great diversity of plants and animals. More than 300 species of…

Read Article

SWE(e)Ping Impact

Mountain Home Awards 2013      

A tiny nonprofit spreads a message of environmental stewardship to thousands of students and adults

A tiny nonprofit spreads a message of environmental stewardship to thousands of students and adults. Written by Connie Dale Since 2009, Truckee elementary and middle school children have come home with…

Read Article

Winter Migrations: A Moving Target

Winter 2015-2016      

Tahoe's wildlife has a winter migration plan hard-wired in

Written by Will Richardson In 2010, I wrote an article highlighting some of the year-round movements and migrations of many of Tahoe’s animal species. We had been having decent snowfalls…

Read Article

Solutions Differ on Weeds Choking Tahoe Keys

Best of Tahoe 2016       Written By Kyle Magin      

Homeowners in Tahoe Keys are spending a fortune to battle the aquatic weeds choking their waters while scientists and water purveyors differ on what to do about it

In Tahoe Keys, the symptoms have won the headlines. Specifically, the giant, released pet goldfishes and other warm-water fish species who now call the shallow 172-acre manmade body of water…

Read Article

Eye to Eye: Former North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown

Best of Tahoe 2016       Written By Meghan Herbst       Written By Jen Schmidt      

Former Tahoe fire chief worked to ensure emergency medical training, fuels reductions were top priorities under his watch

After 26 years with the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Chief Mike Brown retired in March. Brown, who moonlights as a patroller at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, oversaw rapid…

Read Article

Giant Goldfish

Best of Tahoe 2013       Written By Kyle Magin      

Non-native species indicates big problems for Big Blue

The last time something gold made this kind of news in California, it sparked a rush.     But a 4.2 pound, 14-plus inch goldfish pulled out of Tahoe early in…

Read Article

Trailblazing

Mountain Home Awards 2016       Written By Greyson Howard      

New routes, upgrades planned for Tahoe trail network in 2016

Hundreds of thousands of people take to Lake Tahoe’s woods, mountains, meadows and waters to escape into nature—to experience its beauty, its solitude and its recreational opportunities.       The vast…

Read Article

Focusing on Fire

Mountain Home Awards 2015       Written By Dylan Silver      

Project will circle Tahoe Basin with cameras to aid in early forest fire detection

Graham Kent knows what it’s like to have a wildfire roaring toward his home. In 2003, Kent’s San Diego County house was in the path of the Cedar Fire. Towering…

Read Article

Private Partners Pony Up for Lake Clarity Research

Winter 2014-2015       Written By Greyson Howard      

Private residents team up with UC Davis to monitor lake quality where people live and play

For decades, scientists have tracked Lake Tahoe’s treasured water clarity by boating out to the middle of The Lake, dropping a white disk into its depths and measuring the distance…

Read Article

Fury Over Fourth of July Fireworks

Summer 2014       Written By Dylan Silver      

A fight over Fourth of July Fireworks--and their debris--in South Lake Tahoe

When Joan and Joe Truxler picked up the wiry plastic fuses and cardboard scraps from the sandy shores of Zephyr Cove’s Marla Bay, they didn’t realize the detritus would land…

Read Article

Flight Plans

Ski & Ride 2013      

The comings and goings of Lake Tahoe fowl

Written by Will Richardson One of the many wonderful aspects of observing birds is the varied and dynamic nature of bird communities. One can travel to new regions and through…

Read Article

Working Toward a Healthier Forest

Winter 2016-2017       Written By Greyson Howard      

Sierra Nevada agencies seek to mitigate rising tree mortality issues   Over the past few years, large swaths of the Sierra Nevada’s evergreen western flank have turned a sickly red-brown,…

Read Article