SACRAMENTO — Political leaders from California and Nevada are heading to Lake Tahoe on Monday for the 17th annual gathering focused on protecting and restoring the lake and its surrounding basin.
Former Vice President Al Gore, who participated in the first summit in 1997, is scheduled to give the keynote speech at Sand Harbor State Park near Nevada's Incline Village.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, will attend, along with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, both Democrats. The senators announced earlier this month that they are seeking $415 million in new federal funding to address environmental threats at Lake Tahoe.
California officials hope to continue working with their Nevada counterparts on protecting the lake's famed clear waters, as well as discussing ways to find private money to supplement restoration projects in the Tahoe basin, said Todd Ferrara, deputy secretary for external affairs at the California Resources Agency.
This year's summit follows tensions between California and Nevada over how to balance development near the lake against tough environmental standards. Nevada officials had threatened to pull out of a compact between the two states governing land use.
A compromise was reached in May to maintain that compact. Sandoval signed a bill in June recommitting to the compact, and a companion bill is pending in the California Assembly.
Gore and President Bill Clinton came to the alpine lake in 1997 for the inaugural forum, which led to the first Lake Tahoe Restoration Act in 2000. The resulting effort involved $424 million from the federal government and generated $1.6 billion from state and local governments and private sources.