The federal government has a long history of conservation in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Preservation efforts include congressional approval of the Compact, the consolidation of three national forests into the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) of the US Forest Service to protect the watershed, and the passage of numerous funding bills. At the 1997 Lake Tahoe Forum, President Clinton and Vice President Gore renewed the federal commitment to Lake Tahoe by issuing an Executive Order creating the Lake Tahoe Federal Interagency Partnership. This partnership is guided by the EIP Implementation Agreements. Through this collaborative effort, the federal agencies agreed to increase federal funding to strive toward attainment of environmental thresholds, and to coordinate all federal activities in the Basin. Oversight of the partnership is provided by the Tahoe Regional Executives, which consists of the regional administrators of partner agencies. Day-to-day coordination and program-level implementation rests with the Lake Tahoe Basin Executive Committee (LTBEC) , which consists of the local federal officials in the Tahoe Basin.
The Lake Tahoe Restoration Act (LTRA) of 2000 authorized the federal share of the EIP funding, which allowed the Forest Service to invest $300 million in EIP projects and programs. In 2003, Congress amended the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) to allow the proceeds from sales of surplus federal lands in southern Nevada to fund the federal share of the EIP. Through the LTRA, SNPLMA, and other sources, the federal agencies invested more than $293 million in the EIP from 1997 to 2006.
The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the Forest Service administers 75 percent of the land in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and is responsible for a broad range of EIP projects and programs. Other federal agencies providing significant contributions include the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Federal Highway Administration, United States Geological Survey, and the Environmental Protection Agency .
The states of California and Nevada have also played a key role in developing and implementing the EIP. In 1997, Governor Wilson of California and Governor Miller of Nevada convened a gubernatorial summit in anticipation of the Presidential Forum, and signed a Memorandum of Agreement pledging their support for the EIP. Voters in Nevada then approved a bond measure to provide $82 million, Nevada’s share of EIP funding for the first decade. The Divisions of State Lands, Environmental Protection, and Transportation are largely responsible for oversight and funding of EIP projects in Nevada. The state of California also fulfilled its funding commitment in the first decade of the EIP. Through projects funded primarily by the California Tahoe Conservancy, State Parks, and Caltrans, the state of California committed more than $446 million to EIP projects from funds made available from Propositions 204, 12, 40, 50, 84, and other sources.
Local and private contributions have been one of the hallmarks of the EIP. Because stormwater runoff from local roads and private residential and commercial development conveys sediment and other pollutants that degrade Lake clarity, erosion control measures known as best management practices (BMPs) are an important component of the Regional Plan and the EIP. Through investments in BMPs and other projects, local and private sources have contributed nearly $270 million in the first decade of the EIP.
The major EIP partners in local government include the counties of Washoe, Douglas, El Dorado, and Placer, the City of South Lake Tahoe, the California Tahoe Conservancy, Carson City, and local utility and fire protection districts. Private partners include a broad spectrum of interests, including the Heavenly Mountain Resort and Homewood ski area, the Chambers of Commerce on the north and south shores, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, and the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition.