12/31/2016 update

In April 2015 our second lawsuit was heard in Alameda County Superior Court with the judge ordering that the approval of the final project environmental document be vacated. State Parks appealed the decision.

In the past year, Washoe Meadows Community sought the help of a professional mediator to attempt teamwork to reach an acceptable solution. However, these attempts failed to result in any agreement on a project that would sufficiently protect the resources of Washoe Meadows State Park.The case will now be heard in Appeals Court.  We will continue our legal campaign even as we hope for more dialogue to achieve a better project.

1-29-13 Update

A revised proposal from State Parks in 2013 doesn’t substantially change the open issues.

    • Washoe Meadows should remain a state park and none of its originally designated lands should be taken away for a golf course development. The Legislature voted to acquire this land in 1984 in order to preserve extraordinary natural resources and protect the water quality of Lake Tahoe. These unique resources haven’t gone away and they shouldn’t be destroyed. Preserving the Tahoe Basin’s watershed remains among the key reasons Washoe Meadows should remain protected as state park and not be sacrificed to a golf course.
    • Washoe Meadows State Park’s declassification in order to permit a golf course is a dangerous precedent.  If this state park can be sacrificed to development, no California State Park is secure.  Which state park may be next?
    • The economic and environmental analyses the state used to justify building a golf course are flawed and out of date.
    • This project is about restoring a river and protecting Lake Tahoe, as required by law. But the priority seems to be how to remodel a golf course. Scientists, experts, public officials and citizens agree that the health of the river and Lake Tahoe shouldn’t be sacrificed to a golf course. The Meyers Plan suggests that Californians could be enjoying many types of family-family recreation here, but the State Parks focus remains on just one group of users: Golfers. There are nine other golf courses in or near S. Lake Tahoe. Golfers have many alternatives to the Lake Tahoe Golf Course, which, because of its location, has been degrading Lake Tahoe for five decades.

We took legal action as a last resort when State Parks and the Parks Commissioners failed to follow the law and address the public’s environmental concerns, as required under CEQA.

We support the restoration of the Upper Truckee River, but destroying a state park to build a golf course isn’t the way to do it.

State Parks can begin to restore its reputation by rethinking its plan for Washoe Meadows and get back to its mission of protecting the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources. Learn more.

A Dangerous Precedent–Special Interests Before Parks

Setting a shameful precedent, California State Parks Commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of extending a golf course into Washoe Meadows State Park. In order to make the Lake Tahoe Golf Course development legally possible, the Commissioners downgraded Washoe Meadows from a state park to a recreation area. Lobbied by business interests and a State Parks department that value profits over environmental and park protections, the Commissioners bent to the will of the golf course’s current concessionaire — the American Golf Corporation, the largest owner and manager of golf courses in the world. American Golf is owned by Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Starwood Capital. We have filed two lawsuits to protect Washoe Meadows. Click here to see a copy of our 2011 Press Release.

The Washoe Meadows Community believes the river can be restored, the park can be preserved, and golf can continue in the state recreation area on the east side of the river.

The Washoe Meadows Community needs your help. Learn more.