Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tahoe Summit 2013: Governor Brian Sandoval on SB 229 and the Tahoe Fire Compact

Thank you.  Good morning everyone, it's always a pleasure to follow congressman Amodei and the Vice president and you might have seen that I brought up a little prop with me but it's unfortunate that the vice president had to leave for that very important board meeting because I had something for him.  My mom has recently moved back to Nevada and we were going through her things and we discovered something that I thought I would present him with today but this is his inaugural poster from the first election and I thought he would enjoy and appreciate that but I hope we can get it to him...

Thank you, Senator, he does look young in that picture.  [laughter] I wanted to present it to him because, as was mentioned, I had the privilege of serving on the TRPA 17 years ago and I had the opportunity and the privilege of attending that first summit and I know that I mentioned this last night at dinner, but I know that the vice president didn't remember me meeting him but I certainly remembered meeting him, and he's got just a tremendous, tremendous legacy.  And I think that it's really important that we pause for a moment and remember what it meant for he and President Clinton to come here that day so that we could all be here 17 years later.

You know, we gathered here today, and we've heard a lot of adjectives, but to recommit to a generational promise to preserve and protect one of the Earth's finest treasures.  Senator Reid, I want to thank you for your leadership through the years, senator Feinstein for your sponsorship of that very important federal legislation; Governor Brown, it's such a privilidge to be with you here today and a lot of folks don't know this but it also was mentioned that we had signed that legislation, or I had signed that legislation a few short months ago.  What I will recall more important than signing that bill was the opportunity to travel to Sacramento and meet with the governor and discuss these very important issues as I mentioned to him last night and even today: you know Paul Laxalt is one of my mentors and I believe that it's an absolute responsibility on my part to continue that legacy that he and President Reagan started, and I see it continuing now between governor Brown and myself.

It's fun for me to have this event here at Sand Harbor.  I mean, we all have our Sand Harbor stories and though I wasn't cleaning toilets or picking up trash or whatever but I was here 40 years ago playing out on the rocks and swimming out on the beach, and it's truely one of the gifts that we have in the state of Nevada to have this.  We've got some of our state parks folks who preserve it so well... If you would just raise your hand and be acknowledged for what you do.

When you think about it, this park here gets 1 million visitors per year and it is the most visited state park in the state of Nevada.  I think it's also important, and I know it's been mentioned today, that we acknowledge our native americans.  This is their ancestral home and it's a privilidge and honor to be in your presence as well.


Now, I was looking at some of the program materials and this year's theme is "a clear lake legacy: preserving Tahoe and the environment for future generations" and I think that's obviously why we're all here.  We understand what we have, but also what it's going to mean that our children and our grandchildren and the generations to come can share this and enjoy it just like we have.  The regional plan update was mentioned and it was adopted by the TRPA and I think the members of the TRPA deserve a big hand because it took a lot of courage to adopt that.


And that's a combination of the TRPA staff, the governing board, the environmental community, members of the business community, local residents and representatives... It truely was, and it's going to be an overused word today, this collaboration, this teamwork to get things done, so, as the Vice President said, this will be a model not only for our two states but our nation and the world.  Mr Ambassador it's such a pleasure that you're hear today and I hope that someday I have the opportunity to visit your great country and see that lake as well.

Now, I don't think that it's appropriate for me to go on.  We have that American Fire that's going on today and I see the firefighters here and the leaders of the firefighter community; and just think about it: as we sit here on this beach in this great sand and wonderfull backdrop, there are those firefighters, hundereds if not thousands of them, fighting that fire a short distance from here to help preserve what we have.  Please thank them for their courage.


Now just a short few words talking about Nevada's comittment, as we've mentioned senate bill 229 and why it was a priority.  Economic, healthy communities provide a healthy foundation for continued environmental gains at Lake Tahoe.  The EIP program continues to be our shared roadmap to the restoration of the Lake Tahoe basin watershed.  We're using the newest and best practices, the latest available science.  The state of Nevada continues to honor our comittment to this great lake and to prioritize: funding for forest restoration, water clarity improvements, stream restoration, recreation enhancements, and invasive species management.  I'm also pleased to report, and Leo Drozdoff, I wanted to acknowledge him today for his leadership in what happens here in our great state, but the Nevada jurisdictions will likely meet their 5 year milestones in polutant reductions and are well on their way to meeting or exceeding all the other milestones, and that's due to your leadership and that of many others.  Thank you Leo.


It was also mentioned about the stream zone environments, I know that they are some of the greatest contributors to the lake, and we are working on the third at Incline Creek, the two creeks there are the largest contributors to fine sediments; and I want to thank all of our partners in this great work: the Nevada tahoe conservation district, IVGID, Washow County, the Glenbrook community, and the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Beaureau of reclamation - another fine example of this teamwork to get things done up here.

I mentioned about the wildfires, Governor Brown and I immediately before we met today signed an agreement to continue, a proclamation that recomfirms the bi-state effort that began with the California-Nevada Tahoe basin fire commission created after the Angora fire.  Today's proclamation displays the continued cooperative work by our two states to protect people, property, and natural resources of the basin through fuel treatment projects, defensible space inspections, and agressive public education campaigns.  Governor Brown, thank you for your teamwork.


So, in closing, it's a privilidge and an honor to be here today.  There are so many people responsible for all of us being here on this stage and I look out and I see everyone in the audience and I'm so proud of our Nevada legislators that I see out here and how we were able to work together.  The Nevada Secretary of State is here and I know that he sits on the TRPA and has a great comittment to Lake Tahoe.  Our federal representatives, the state representatives who work here, those representatives from California, I could go on and on, our county comissioners, our city council people, everyone is here and I know that when it comes to Nevada you have our future comittment to do whatever it takes to continue to preserve the greatest place on Earth, Lake Tahoe.  Thank you.