Lake Tahoe License Plate Program
Show your support for Lake Tahoe
As a Nevada Lake Tahoe License Plate owner, with an initial payment of $62 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 $8.5 million through sales and annual renewal fees, funding over 150 preservation and restoration projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Today, there are nearly 21,000 Lake Tahoe license plates on the road in Nevada.
The Nevada Lake Tahoe License Plate program generates approximately $350,000 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.
In 2020, the LTLP program is providing funding for five projects including:
- Reclaiming Tahoe’s Lakebed: A SCUBA-enabled underwater litter clean-up in Lake Tahoe: Clean up the Cayes will conduct 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In 2019, the LTLP program provided funding for six projects including:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 is expected to be completed by June 30, 2020 and will greatly benefit jurisdictional reporting of Lake Tahoe TMDL implementation progress.
- 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.
- 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.
The LTLP program was able to provide funding for the following seven projects in 2018:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
If you are interested in applying for a grant to protect the Lake Tahoe watershed, please check back here for Grant Information or go to our News and Notes page. Lake Tahoe License Plate grant rounds typically open in the fall of each year.