Take Action

Protect Tahoe’s Park Land & Open Space

From Politicians and Developers

The Washoe Meadows Community, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, strongly oppose the deal between California State Parks and American Golf Corporation to link restoration of the Upper Truckee River with gold course expansion into open space.

The reasons are simple:

  1. The project will downgrade protections for acres of Parks’ land and will deforest many acres of open space to build golf holes where none exist now. The fragmentation of the park land will impact hundreds of adjacent acres of the park, dividing contiguous open space into chopped up habitat areas instead of a continuous ecosystem.
  2. Loss of Parks land and open space will negatively affect efforts to restore wetlands and protect wildlife.
  3. The existing 18 hole golf course can and should be redesigned within its current footprint to be compatible with wetlands restoration work.
  4. Golf revenue is not necessary to fund important state restoration projects. State Park revenue could be improved with a more innovative golf course design and with additional revenue sources from other recreational activities and events.

This proposal benefits the proponents at the expense of the people and their surroundings. State Parks wants to take political credit for an environmental project as part of its effort to repair its image after years of mismanagement.  American Golf wants to guarantee higher profits with taxpayer subsidies for their expanded golf course in order to remain as the course operator.

We believe golf can coexist with a more scientifically and ecologically sound plan to restore wetlands around the Upper Truckee.

But in order for that to happen, State Parks and American Golf have to look beyond their self interests and truly consider what’s best for the public and the land.

Bottom Line:  The decline of what’s left of Tahoe’s pristine lake and surroundings will accelerate if we set precedents that allow even the smallest amounts of Parks space to be reduced and open space to be deforested.

Take action now to save Washoe Meadows State Park!IMGA0493
Print our Flyer: Please help us spread the word. Print and distribute our flyer on the threat to Washoe Meadows State Park.

What can you do?  Tell these State Parks officials that it’s time to act in the interests of residents, taxpayers, wildlife and the land.  They should reject this proposal and engage with the community of residents and scientists to establish a long term solution.

For more detailed info, click on the following and see the Washoe Meadow Community comments and our Attorney’s comments to the latest DEIR

Post, email and send your comments to the Resources Agency, Parks Department and Parks Commissioners today!

California State Park & Recreation Commission
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
Attn: Brie Grossman, Assistant to the Commission

Parks Director Lisa Mangat

Dept. of Parks and Recreation
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296

Communications to all commissioners should be mailed or emailed to:

California State Park & Recreation Commission
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

(916) 653-6995

Parks Commission Chair Myrian Solis Coronel
See contact info above

Parks Commission Vice Chair Rue Mapp
See contact info above

Parks Commisioner Ernest Chung
See contact info above

Parks Commisioner Anthea Hartig
See contact info above

Parks Commisioner Tommy Randle
See contact info above

Parks Commisioner Diane Wittenberg
See contact info above

Parks Commisioner Elva Yanez
See contact info above


P.O. Box 5310
Zephyr Cove, NV 89449
Attn: Dan Segan, Principal Natural Resource Analyst
Tel: (775) 588-4547
Fax: (775) 588-4527

Senator Dianne Feinstein

One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (415) 393-0710


Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Secretary John Laird
California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 653-5656
Fax: (916) 653-8102

Supervisor Sue Novasel
El Dorado County Supervisor
Chair TRPA Governing Board
924B Emerald Bay Road
So. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Tel: (530) 621-6577
Fax: (530) 622-3645

California Legislators

Senator Ted Gaines
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 3070
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 324-2680

Senator Robert Hertzberg


Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4038
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4018

Assemblymember Frank Bigelow
California State Assembly
State Capitol, Suite #6027
Sacramento, CA 94249-0005
Tel: (916) 319-2005
Fax: (916) 319-2105

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia

State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4140
Sacramento, CA 94249-0056
Tel: (916) 319-2056


If you live in another legislative district, you can find your legislators at:


Send a “Letter to the Editor” to the Following Newspapers:
http://mountainnews.net/letters http://apps.tahoedailytribune.com/utils/forms/index.php?formId=lettertoeditor http://www.sacbee.com/2006/09/07/19629/submit-letters-to-the-editor.html http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/submissions/#1

Tips for Advocates:

The agencies and elected officials care about a public outcry. Let them know you don’t want Washoe Meadows State Park—or any state park—sacrificed for profits. Send your comments to decision makers; attend a public meeting; write a letter to the editor.

Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor: (Adapted from SPIN Project)

Letters to the editor  most often discuss a recent event/issue covered by a publication, radio station, or TV program.

Letters to the editor are your chance to “sound-off” to your community about issues in the news. Your letter has the best chance of being published if it is a reaction to a story in the paper. Respond as quickly as you can.

Keep your letter short and concise—150 – 200 words. The paper may shorten your letter to suit its format, so lead with your most important information.

Write in short paragraphs.

Focus on one main point and make a compelling case.

Do not make personal attacks.

Include your full name, address, and phone number at the top of the page and sign the letter at the bottom (unless you are emailing it in). You must include a phone number for verification purposes.

Follow any media specific directions regarding how to send the letter.

Tips for Writing to Government Officials:

About the Washoe Meadows Community:

We are a group of over 500 people from throughout California and Nevada who love and use Washoe Meadows State Park and are committed to the health of Lake Tahoe and its watershed. We value parks and public lands and want to see them restored and protected for future generations.

We believe State Parks belong to future generations and should not be developed or exploited for short-term profit. Rather, long term funding solutions must be found.

We have been fighting to protect Washoe Meadows from golf course development  since 2006.

Our efforts have included attending hearings; meeting with and writing letters to elected officials at the national, state, and local levels; preparing comments to Environmental Impact Statements; consulting experts in science, recreation, and parks management; and media outreach.

Our concerns extend to the protection of Washoe Meadows State Park and the integrity of the California State Parks system, which is vulnerable to commercialization during the current economic downturn.

Threats to Washoe Meadows State Park:

Write in support of an Alternative to allow the golf course to continue to operate and be improved in its current location; it allows the Upper Truckee River restoration project to go forward; contributes to the clarity goals of Lake Tahoe, and enables Washoe Meadows State Park to continue as a natural area, providing wildlife habitat and low-cost family-friendly recreation.

Oppose Alternative 2B, which State Parks officials are promoting. Alternative 2B would move golf holes where it is now across the river to Washoe Meadows State Park and dedicate a portion of the park to a single use—golf. Alternative 2B would remove hundreds of trees; potentially lower the water table and pollute the groundwater with toxic chemicals and fertilizers used to maintain the golf course; fragment and destroy habitat for rare plants and wildlife, including native trout; and cut off existing public access to the park and the Upper Truckee River to provide fairways and greens.

Powerful lobbyists including the American Golf Corporation, which is owned by Goldman Sachs and Starwood Capital, are pushing to build the new golf course in the name of helping the economy. American Golf Corporation currently profits as concessionaire of the golf course, and stands to make even more by moving the golf course into Washoe Meadows State Park.

Our public lands are a legacy that we leave to future generations. State Parks belong to the people, not corporate interests. If Washoe Meadows is sacrificed to development, it sets a dangerous precedent for our state parks. Which park will be next?

For additional background and talking points click here.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Issues:

TRPA considers the following when making its decisions:

  • Water Quality
  • Air Quality
  • Scenic Resources
  • Soil Conservation
  • Fish Habitat
  • Vegetation
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Noise

Each of these is defined in detail with specific standards that are to be met. Click here for more information on these issues and thresholds.