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Pub.L. 106-507 To provide for the posthumous promotion of William <> Clark of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, to the grade of captain in the Reg...
[[Page 114 STAT. 2351]]
Public Law 106-506
To promote environmental restoration around the Lake Tahoe
basin. <<NOTE: Nov. 13, 2000 - [H.R. 3388]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Lake Tahoe Restoration
Act. Forests and forest protection. California. Nevada.>> assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Lake Tahoe Restoration Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.
(a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
(1) Lake Tahoe, one of the largest, deepest, and clearest
lakes in the world, has a cobalt blue color, a unique alpine
setting, and remarkable water clarity, and is recognized
nationally and worldwide as a natural resource of special
(2) in addition to being a scenic and ecological treasure,
Lake Tahoe is one of the outstanding recreational resources of
the United States, offering skiing, water sports, biking,
camping, and hiking to millions of visitors each year, and
contributing significantly to the economies of California,
Nevada, and the United States;
(3) the economy in the Lake Tahoe basin is dependent on the
protection and restoration of the natural beauty and recreation
opportunities in the area;
(4) Lake Tahoe is in the midst of an environmental crisis;
the Lake's water clarity has declined from a visibility level of
105 feet in 1967 to only 70 feet in 1999, and scientific
estimates indicate that if the water quality at the Lake
continues to degrade, Lake Tahoe will lose its famous clarity in
only 30 years;
(5) sediment and algae-nourishing phosphorous and nitrogen
continue to flow into the Lake from a variety of sources,
including land erosion, fertilizers, air pollution, urban
runoff, highway drainage, streamside erosion, land disturbance,
and ground water flow;
(6) methyl tertiary butyl ether--
(A) has contaminated and closed more than one-third
of the wells in South Tahoe; and
(B) is advancing on the Lake at a rate of
approximately 9 feet per day;
(7) destruction of wetlands, wet meadows, and stream zone
habitat has compromised the Lake's ability to cleanse itself of
(8) approximately 40 percent of the trees in the Lake Tahoe
basin are either dead or dying, and the increased quantity
[[Page 114 STAT. 2352]]
of combustible forest fuels has significantly increased the risk
of catastrophic forest fire in the Lake Tahoe basin;
(9) as the largest land manager in the Lake Tahoe basin,
with 77 percent of the land, the Federal Government has a unique
responsibility for restoring environmental health to Lake Tahoe;
(10) the Federal Government has a long history of
environmental preservation at Lake Tahoe, including--
(A) congressional consent to the establishment of
the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in 1969 (Public Law
91-148; 83 Stat. 360) and in 1980 (Public Law 96-551; 94
(B) the establishment of the Lake Tahoe Basin
Management Unit in 1973; and
(C) the enactment of Public Law 96-586 (94 Stat.
3381) in 1980 to provide for the acquisition of
environmentally sensitive land and erosion control
(11) the President renewed the Federal Government's
commitment to Lake Tahoe in 1997 at the Lake Tahoe Presidential
Forum, when he committed to increased Federal resources for
environmental restoration at Lake Tahoe and established the
Federal Interagency Partnership and Federal Advisory Committee
to consult on natural resources issues concerning the Lake Tahoe
(12) the States of California and Nevada have contributed
proportionally to the effort to protect and restore Lake Tahoe,
(i) exceeding $200,000,000 by the State of
California since 1980 for land acquisition,
erosion control, and other environmental projects
in the Lake Tahoe basin; and
(ii) exceeding $30,000,000 by the State of
Nevada since 1980 for the purposes described in
clause (i); and
(B) the approval of a bond issue by voters in the
State of Nevada authorizing the expenditure by the State
of an additional $20,000,000; and
(13) significant additional investment from Federal, State,
local, and private sources is needed to stop the damage to Lake
Tahoe and its forests, and restore the Lake Tahoe basin to
(b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to enable the Forest Service to plan and implement
significant new environmental restoration activities and forest
management activities to address the phenomena described in
paragraphs (4) through (8) of subsection (a) in the Lake Tahoe
(2) to ensure that Federal, State, local, regional, tribal,
and private entities continue to work together to improve water
quality and manage Federal land in the Lake Tahoe Basin
Management Unit; and
(3) to provide funding to local governments for erosion and
sediment control projects on non-Federal land if the projects
benefit the Federal land.
[[Page 114 STAT. 2353]]
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Environmental threshold carrying capacity.--The term
``environmental threshold carrying capacity'' has the meaning
given the term in article II of the Tahoe Regional Planning
Compact set forth in the first section of Public Law 96-551 (94
(2) Fire risk reduction activity.--
(A) In general.--The term ``fire risk reduction
activity'' means an activity that is necessary to reduce
the risk of wildfire to promote forest management and
simultaneously achieve and maintain the environmental
threshold carrying capacities established by the
Planning Agency in a manner consistent, where
applicable, with chapter 71 of the Tahoe Regional
Planning Agency Code of Ordinances.
(B) Included activities.--The term ``fire risk
reduction activity'' includes--
(i) prescribed burning;
(ii) mechanical treatment;
(iii) road obliteration or reconstruction; and
(iv) such other activities consistent with
Forest Service practices as the Secretary
determines to be appropriate.
(3) Planning agency.--The term ``Planning Agency'' means the
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency established under Public Law 91-
148 (83 Stat. 360) and Public Law 96-551 (94 Stat. 3233).
(4) Priority list.--The term ``priority list'' means the
environmental restoration priority list developed under section
(5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary
of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service.
SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAKE TAHOE BASIN MANAGEMENT UNIT.
(a) In General.--The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit shall be
administered by the Secretary in accordance with this Act and the laws
applicable to the National Forest System.
(b) Relationship to Other Authority.--
(1) Private or non-federal land.--Nothing in this Act grants
regulatory authority to the Secretary over private or other non-
(2) Planning agency.--Nothing in this Act affects or
increases the authority of the Planning Agency.
(3) Acquisition under other law.--Nothing in this Act
affects the authority of the Secretary to acquire land from
willing sellers in the Lake Tahoe basin under any other law.
SEC. 5. CONSULTATION WITH PLANNING AGENCY AND OTHER ENTITIES.
(a) In General.--With respect to the duties described in subsection
(b), the Secretary shall consult with and seek the advice and
(1) the Planning Agency;
[[Page 114 STAT. 2354]]
(2) the Tahoe Federal Interagency Partnership established by
Executive Order No. 13057 (62 Fed. Reg. 41249) or a successor
(3) the Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee
established by the Secretary on December 15, 1998 (64 Fed. Reg.
2876) (until the committee is terminated);
(4) Federal representatives and all political subdivisions
of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit; and
(5) the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality
(b) Duties.--The Secretary shall consult with and seek advice and
recommendations from the entities described in subsection (a) with
(1) the administration of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management
(2) the development of the priority list;
(3) the promotion of consistent policies and strategies to
address the Lake Tahoe basin's environmental and recreational
(4) the coordination of the various programs, projects, and
activities relating to the environment and recreation in the
Lake Tahoe basin to avoid unnecessary duplication and
inefficiencies of Federal, State, local, tribal, and private
(5) the coordination of scientific resources and data, for
the purpose of obtaining the best available science as a basis
for decisionmaking on an ongoing basis.
SEC. 6. ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PRIORITY LIST.
(a) In General.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later than 1 year after the
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop a
priority list of potential or proposed environmental restoration
projects for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.
(b) Development of Priority List.--In developing the priority list,
the Secretary shall--
(1) use the best available science, including any relevant
findings and recommendations of the watershed assessment
conducted by the Forest Service in the Lake Tahoe basin; and
(2) include, in order of priority, potential or proposed
environmental restoration projects in the Lake Tahoe basin
(A) are included in or are consistent with the
environmental improvement program adopted by the
Planning Agency in February 1998 and amendments to the
(B) would help to achieve and maintain the
environmental threshold carrying capacities for--
(i) air quality;
(v) scenic resources;
(vi) soil conservation;
(vii) forest health;
(viii) water quality; and
[[Page 114 STAT. 2355]]
(c) Focus in Determining Order of Priority.--In determining the
order of priority of potential and proposed environmental restoration
projects under subsection (b)(2), the focus shall address projects
(listed in no particular order) involving--
(1) erosion and sediment control, including the activities
described in section 2(g) of Public Law 96-586 (94 Stat. 3381)
(as amended by section 7 of this Act);
(2) the acquisition of environmentally sensitive land from
(A) using funds appropriated from the land and water
conservation fund established under section 2 of the
Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C.
(B) under the authority of Public Law 96-586 (94
(3) fire risk reduction activities in urban areas and urban-
wildland interface areas, including high recreational use areas
and urban lots acquired from willing sellers under the authority
of Public Law 96-586 (94 Stat. 3381);
(4) cleaning up methyl tertiary butyl ether contamination;
(5) the management of vehicular parking and traffic in the
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, especially--
(A) improvement of public access to the Lake Tahoe
basin, including the promotion of alternatives to the
(B) the Highway 28 and 89 corridors and parking
problems in the area; and
(C) cooperation with local public transportation
(i) the Coordinated Transit System; and
(ii) public transit systems on the north shore
of Lake Tahoe.
(d) Monitoring.--The Secretary shall provide for continuous
scientific research on and monitoring of the implementation of projects
on the priority list, including the status of the achievement and
maintenance of environmental threshold carrying capacities.
(e) Consistency With Memorandum of Understanding.--A project on the
priority list shall be conducted in accordance with the memorandum of
understanding signed by the Forest Supervisor and the Planning Agency on
November 10, 1989, including any amendments to the memorandum as long as
the memorandum remains in effect.
(f ) Review of Priority List.--Periodically, but not less often than
every 3 years, the Secretary shall--
(1) review the priority list;
(2) consult with--
(A) the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency;
(B) interested political subdivisions; and
(C) the Lake Tahoe Water Quality and Transportation
(3) make any necessary changes with respect to--
(A) the findings of scientific research and
monitoring in the Lake Tahoe basin;
(B) any change in an environmental threshold as
determined by the Planning Agency; and
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106th Congressional Public Laws Records and Documents
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