Lake Tahoe License Plate Program
2022 Awarded Projects
This year, the Nevada Division of State Lands is excited to announce that over $350,000 in NV-LTLP proceeds will help fund the following environmental preservation and restoration projects:
- Marlette Virtual Nature Trail: The Nevada Division of Natural Heritage will create a virtual trail experience from Spooner Lake to Tunnel Creek that will allow users to explore dozens of points of interest along the trail, learn about local plants and wildlife, and experience the cultural and geologic history of the area. Once developed, the virtual trail can be downloaded free of charge so visitors can tour the trail from the comfort of their home, whether they are planning a trip to Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park or just want to learn more about Tahoe’s incredible natural diversity.
- SCUBA divers will continue their third year to remove litter and identify litter “hot spots” in the Lake: The non-profit organization Clean up the Lake will conduct a series of dives to trace how litter moves around Lake Tahoe and document where it accumulates. Trash that is removed will be analyzed by the Desert Research Institute and the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center to help identify the major sources of litter pollution in the Lake.
- Developing a Tourism Stewardship Roadmap: The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, along with other Basin partners, will develop a strategic plan to enhance sustainable recreation and tourism opportunities at Lake Tahoe over the next 20 years. The information will be used to prioritize recreation and tourism projects, as well as provide updates to the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program.
- New monitoring and research programs for lake clarity: Two complementary projects will explore algal growth in the Lake:
- The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will launch a new program to monitor algae near Lake Tahoe’s shoreline. The program will identify locations along the lakeshore that are impacted by heavy concentrations of algae to determine whether boaters, aquatic invasive species, or other factors are contributing to losses in clarity.
- University of Nevada, Reno researchers will study how watersheds and nutrients contribute to declines in water quality and increases in algal growth. This data will help inform strategies and solutions to help prevent the growth of algae around Lake Tahoe.
- Tahoe Rim Trail visitor use monitoring: The Tahoe Rim Trail Association will track and analyze visitation numbers and gather information from public surveys to inform recreation needs along the Tahoe Rim Trail. Land managers intend to use the data to assess opportunities to reduce the amount of damage to the trail and surrounding vegetation.
- Sensitive plant monitoring: A research team from the University of Nevada, Reno will create a monitoring program to study Lake Tahoe Draba, a rare high-elevation plant which only grows in three locations solely in the Tahoe Basin. Data collected during this project will inform future protective measures for the species and may help prevent its extinction.”
Show your support for Lake Tahoe
As a Nevada Lake Tahoe License Plate owner, with an initial payment of $61 for the first year and $30 each continuing year, you can help fund projects that will preserve and restore the natural environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Of the DMV fees collected, $25 the first year and $20 each subsequent year go directly into a dedicated Lake Tahoe fund which is administered by the State Lands. Since the first license plates were sold in February 1998, the program has raised over $9 million through sales and annual renewal fees, funding over 150 preservation and restoration projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Today, there are over 22,000 Lake Tahoe license plates on the road in Nevada.
The Nevada Lake Tahoe License Plate program generates approximately $450,000 on an annual basis to fund projects ranging from water quality initiatives and state park improvements, to research and monitoring studies, invasive species surveys and removal, and public education efforts.
Follow the link below for an exciting look at a Lake Tahoe License Plate-funded Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) removal project, enacted by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, at Crystal Shores Marina in Incline Village:
The Lake Tahoe License Plate program has funded projects in the following areas:
Water Quality Improvements
- Reclaiming Tahoe’s Lakebed: A SCUBA-enabled underwater litter clean-up in Lake Tahoe: Clean up the Cayes conducted an underwater shorezone litter removal along six miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline. Removed trash will be categorized by source and size and documented by the Desert Research Institute and the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. (2020) https://cleanupthelake.org/
- Stormwater Tools Phase 3 Improvements: Nevada Division of Environmental Protection will work with consultants to refine and adjust Stormwater Tools on the LT Info website by: 1) updating road condition assessment methodologies and algorithms; 2) improving treatment BMP process workflow; 3) improving the parcel BMP assessment process; 4) enhancing review and quality assurance for registrations; and 5) enhancing map features and functions. This project will greatly benefit jurisdictional reporting of Lake Tahoe TMDL implementation progress. (2019) – www.clarity.laketahoeinfo.org
- Incline/Third Creek Restoration Project: Incline Village General Improvement District completed project to reduce erosion from stream banks and improve Lake Tahoe water quality through reduction of fine sediment transport and restoring flood plain terraces. Project also allowed for return of spawning fish to creek, which had been absent for decades. A Tahoe Regional Planning Agency 2019 Best in the Basin Award winning project. (2019) https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/ivgid; https://www.trpa.org/2019-best-in-the-basin-award-winners-announced/
Forest Health Projects
- Spooner Landscape Resilience Project: Nevada Tahoe Resource Team and the Nevada Division of Forestry completed this fuel reduction project on 300 acres of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park near the Spooner Lake recreation area. Project accomplishments were: protecting communities, recreation, wildlife habitat, species biodiversity, cultural resources, and improving drought tolerance and water quality. Voted a 2019 Best in the Basin Award winner by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. http://forestry.nv.gov/highlighted-projects/; https://www.trpa.org/2019-best-in-the-basin-award-winners-announced/
Aquatic Invasive Species Projects
- Edgewood Aquatic Invasive Plant Control: Planning and Containment: The Tahoe Resource Conservation District will create and enact a custom containment plan for aquatic invasive species (AIS) presently in Edgewood Creek and the pond complex at Edgewood Tahoe Resort. An installation of a bubble curtain to prevent plant fragments from reaching Lake Tahoe will be accompanied by Eyes on the Lake training to identify AIS, which will be conducted by the League to Save Lake Tahoe. (2020) https://tahoercd.org/tahoe-aquatic-invasive-species-programs/
- Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Plant Control: Nevada Shoreline Rapid Response: Tahoe Resource Conservation District (TRCD) will remove Eurasian watermilfoil from approximately 0.5 to 1 acre of Lake Tahoe’s nearshore environment at the Elk Point Rock Crib, Wovoka Estates Rock Crib, Tahoe Beach Club creek and lagoon, and Burke Creek at Nevada Beach using benthic bottom barriers and diver-assisted suction removal. Scientists at TRCD will work with the homeowners to develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) for prevention of re-infestation including a biannual diver survey and removal of any newly discovered plants, skimming of observed plant fragments, and an annual Eyes on the Lake Survey conducted by the landowner or homeowner’s association caretaker. (2019) https://tahoercd.org/tahoe-aquatic-invasive-species-programs/
- Aquatic Invasive Species Surveillance Monitoring: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will be conducting a lake-wide survey and developing a surveillance monitoring plan for aquatic invasive plants in Lake Tahoe. (2018) https://www.trpa.org/programs/invasive-species/
- Aquatic Invasive Plant Control at Elk Point Marina: Tahoe Resource Conservation District will remove aquatic invasive plants, including Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed, from the Lake’s nearshore environment at Elk Point Marina. This project is unique in that it’s the first of its kind in which a private homeowners association is providing the 25% match required by the Program. (2018) - https://spark.adobe.com/page/rRkQODQzhBBHa/
- Evaluation of Recent and Historical Pollutant Accumulations in Lake Tahoe Relevant to EIP and TMDL Implementation: The Desert Research Institute will assess recent and historical changes in sedimentation rates and characteristics over time, and also will evaluate changes in pollutant loading rates and Lake Tahoe’s responses to these changes. This data will help gauge how Lake Tahoe’s sedimentation rates are responding to an era of increased watershed management; and will help in mapping lake responses to changes in climate over time and going forward. (2020) https://www.dri.edu/projects/
- TRPA Threshold Update – Assessing “Vehicle Miles Traveled”: Researchers at Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the University of California, Davis, will identify primary factors influencing Vehicle Miles Traveled and seasonal variance, as well as determining the relative magnitude of impact of each factor. This research will help policy makers and resource managers to update the TRPA Threshold as well as shine light on regional transportation trends and their relationship to a healthy Lake Tahoe ecosystem. (2020) https://www.trpa.org/programs/
- Long-term Dynamics of Aspen Stands Across the Lake Tahoe Basin: Drivers of Forest Health and Identification of Restoration Priorities: Researchers at University of Nevada, Reno will identify quaking aspen stands in the LTB that may be particularly responsive to conifer removal and delineate areas based on their suitability for aspen restoration using high-resolution remote-sensing techniques. The findings will inform future forest management decisions and guide restoration planning by locating priority areas for stand treatment and aspen regeneration. Researchers will provide online maps of aspen restoration suitability and present the results to LTB resource managers and stakeholders. (2019) https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?layers=764bd760740f4ce78a6d630e6840e3c4
- Operational Remote Sensing to Support Lake Tahoe Nearshore Monitoring: Scientists at Desert Research Institute plan to develop empirical water quality tracking algorithms and predictive water quality indices using imagery and historic nearshore water quality data. A web application will also be customized for Lake Tahoe allowing the public to monitor water quality and vegetation conditions using imagery and climate data. (2018) – https://app.climateengine.org/laketahoe
- A Sustainable Method for the Rapid Assessment of the Extent and Causes of Metaphyton in Lake Tahoe: Scientists at UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center plan to develop a lake-wide approach to identify and quantify metaphyton using aerial imagery. This research aims to clarify the relationship between elevated nutrients and metaphyton growth which may be linked to Asian clams, an aquatic invasive species in Lake Tahoe. (2018) https://tahoe.ucdavis.edu/technical-reports
- Impacts of Genetics, Local Environment, and Stand History on Quaking Aspen Susceptibility to the Emerging White Satin Moth Defoliation Event: Researchers at University of Nevada, Reno will examine the drivers of quaking aspen defoliation in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park that is caused by the non-native, invasive White satin moth (Leucoma salicis), a potentially devastating forest pest. (2018)
Infrastructure and Tourism Quality Improvements
- Spooner Front Country Phase Two Circulation and Facility Design: Nevada Division of State Parks will move forward with the design and planning of Phase Two of the Spooner Front Country construction project. Design plans will include new: parking lots and spaces; pathways and trail connections; interpretive signage and wayfinding kiosks; picnic nodes, bike racks, and recycling units; a non-motorized boat launch, wildlife viewing and fishing pier; group picnic pavilion; and many more area enhancements. (2020) http://parks.nv.gov/
- Spooner Lake Trailhead Facility and Amphitheater: Nevada Division of State Parks will lead the efforts on Phase 1 improvements to the Spooner Front Country at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. Construction is slated to begin in 2020 and include six new, single stall restrooms; interpretive pavilion with map and way-finding features; gift shop and information counter; amphitheater; park office; and convenience room with vending machines, audio/video and WiFi/device charging. (2019)
Education and Community Outreach
- Lake Tahoe Basin Education and Outreach at UNR’s Museum of Natural History: Educators and scientists at University of Nevada, Reno will create an interactive education and outreach program focused on the Lake Tahoe Basin, run from the Museum of Natural History. New curriculum will be created and implemented for the K-12 program by using hands-on activities, live animal displays, and historic natural history collections to focus on three main themes: 1) the Lake Tahoe watershed; 2) Lake Tahoe’s changing food web; and 3) the story of the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout). A new interpretive sign will be developed for a permanent Lahontan Cutthroat Trout display that describes the history of the fish in the Lake Tahoe Basin (LTB) including historical photos and information about the importance of this threatened species to indigenous cultures and local communities. (2019)
- Enhancement of TRPA’s BMP Handbook Shorezone Section: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will work with consultants to update the shorezone section of TRPA’s BMP Handbook to better protect Lake Tahoe’s water quality from shoreline construction projects and better inform lake front properties undertaking BMP retrofits necessary to apply for permits. Types of construction activities may consist of demolition, construction access, backshore stabilization, and structure maintenance including piers and boat houses located over the lake. BMP considerations will include approaches for different shoreline tolerance districts, how to address variation in lake water level, scenic requirements, and Tahoe Yellow Cress flag and avoidance. (2019)
- Lake Tahoe Water Trail Educational Wayfinding Interpretive Signage: Tahoe Resource Conservation District in collaboration with Sierra Business Council will install sign panels and stands at five sites along the Lake Tahoe Water Trail to promote safety and natural resource stewardship for paddlers. (2018) https://www.sierrabusiness.org/archives/lake-tahoe-water-trail/
- Outreach and Education for the Lake Tahoe Shoreline Plan: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will reach out to stakeholders, residents and visitors to provide public meetings along with education and outreach materials for the Shoreline Plan. (2018)
Nevada Division of State Lands is pleased to announce that awards for the 2022 Lake Tahoe License Plate funding round are expected to be issued in February 2022!