This is from Tahoe Lakefront Owners Association and I am sure that many of you have heard about this. But I wanted to pass this along. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this … Give me a call.
COVID-19 May Affect Lake Tahoe Boating Season
Make no mistake about it, the thought of losing our recreational boating season at Lake Tahoe would have been unthinkable just a few months ago. Today, however, it is a possibility. Even as the weather warms we know this: Lake Tahoe will be descended upon by thousands of people trying to escape the cities, the virus, and months of being cooped up indoors.
While the TLOA had been the first to raise the alarm several weeks ago, the issue is more complex than you might imagine. Because the response to COVID-19 is ongoing, the planning and regulatory agencies are overwhelmed by real life-or-death matters. Concerning recreation, they are just trying to tread water. The larger issue of basin recreation remains in limbo as well and surpasses the impacts of recreational boating. Until we have clarity, we can only fathom a guess as to what behavior and threats will be brought to our shores.
Who is in charge? Lake Tahoe is unique in that it is a navigable waterway, subject to federal control. For on-the-water-safety, the US Coast Guard has jurisdiction along with both Nevada and California, five Counties, the City of South Lake Tahoe, and numerous GID’s and PUD’s managing facilities around the Lake. Protection against the introduction of aquatic invasive species, rescue, safety, and law enforcement personnel, marinas, tour boat operators, concessionaires of both motorized and non-motorized boating, residents, 2nd homeowners, and visitors round out the main set of stakeholders.
Why can’t I get my boat sticker? The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) requires that all boats display a current boat sticker. TRPA has discontinued the aquatic invasive boat inspection program and the release of non-essential 2020 boat stickers indefinitely. Both states have closed public boat launch ramps, and since the marinas are non-essential commercial operations, and they are unable to acquire the 2020 boat stickers, no launching will be allowed until the agencies deem it safe, and the boat sticker program is reinstated. One of the main problems with opening the lake, even to “Tahoe-Only” boats, or just people with moorings on the Lake is that there are real public health and safety concerns. Unless the marinas open, fuel and emergency services are not available. Law enforcement and rescue operations may not have staff or safe operations for their boats. We will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.
Will there be a 2020 Boating Season? We certainly wish we had more information for you on this question. While outdoor activities are allowed under the California and Nevada orders, both states are still under a “Stay-at-Home” order, and we are supposed to be limiting any non-essential activities. We have been told by state and local officials that recreational boating is not an essential activity, and while kayaking and paddle-boarding are a form of exercise, social distancing requirements remain in effect.
Will California and Nevada have the same requirements? Again, it is difficult to say. Both States have indefinite end-dates for reopening, however, the messaging appears to indicate weeks for that decision to be made. Here again, it is even more difficult for the stakeholders to get a grasp on the implications for the Lake Tahoe Region. The decision-makers cannot operate in a vacuum and cannot risk taking action without considering the impacts to the others in the region.
Will I have to pay mooring fees? For now, you should continue to pay all annual fees, including 2020 TRPA mooring fees, annual rent in California, and annual fees in Nevada.
What is TLOA doing about these issues? What is clear is that we are One Lake! TLOA began beating the drum weeks ago when the stay-at-home order was originally issued. We are working diligently on these issues and will continue to advocate for stakeholder involvement resulting in fair and consistent decision-making. For the safety, well-being, and enjoyment of all, we ask for your patience. We will be back to you with more information as it becomes available. Stay Safe.