Agency team to launch largest invasive plant removal project in Lake Tahoe

Bottom barrier installation is underway in Taylor and Tallac Marshes as part of the largest invasive aquatic plant removal project in Lake Tahoe.
Provided / Tahoe Fund

Two agencies are teaming up to launch the largest invasive plant removal project in Lake Tahoe, officials said Wednesday.

USDA’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in partnership with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, plans to remove 17 acres of invasive plants from Taylor and Tallac creeks and marshes as part of a restoration complete of one of the last natural wetlands in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Left unchecked, invasive aquatic plants can have devastating effects on Tahoe’s ecosystem and recreational resources.

“Invasive plant eradication projects have typically been measured in single acres,” said Sarah Muskopf, an aquatic biologist with the Forest Service in a press release. “The use of new technologies, including larger carpets, reduces the cost of implementation and allows us to meet restoration goals more efficiently. “

Teams are staking large tarps known as the lower barriers at the bottom of the Tallac Marsh and hope to have all the tarps in place by early 2022. The lower barriers starve invasive weeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil. sunlight and are commonly used in the Tahoe Basin to control infestations.

“Wetlands enhance our region’s natural resilience to climate change by filtering runoff and other pollutants,” said Kat McIntyre, Forest Health Program Manager at TRPA. “Restoring these marshes pays dividends in keeping the lake clear and improving wildlife habitat.”

This project is part of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program), an unprecedented collaboration aimed at achieving the region’s environmental goals. Funding is provided by federal allocations from the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act as well as private contributions of $ 100,000 from the Tahoe Fund.

“We are delighted to be able to support this absolutely essential invasive plant elimination project with the support of the Merrill Family Foundation,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “It is inspiring to see our partners in public agencies undertake a project of this magnitude as they continue to address this continuing threat to Tahoe’s water quality. “

The Forest Service urges recreationists to exercise caution when walking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in these areas, as mats are very slippery when wet or covered in snow. They also ask to respect the fence around the project for public safety and to help ensure the success of the project.

The project will not impede access to Kiva and Baldwin beaches and is expected to last until 2024.

Source: Tahoe Fund

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