Saving Lake Tahoe | by Michael J. Makley

The history of Lake Tahoe begins with the Washoe Indians who managed its resources for thousands of years, selectively utilizing its bounty. The relatively brief Euro-American history at Lake Tahoe began in the mid-nineteenth century. Though awestruck by the lake’s beauty, the new arrivals were also intent on harvesting its abundant resources. In a mere half century, the basin’s forests and fisheries were destroyed, the lake’s pristine clarity dramatically reduced.

Left alone, nature healed itself, and by the 1960s mature forests once again surrounded the lake. Its water clarity improved, to a visibility more than one hundred feet deep. However, Tahoe’s wonders brought new threats: millions of annual visitors and incessant development, including ski resorts and casinos. Saving Lake Tahoe looks at the interaction through the years between human activities and Tahoe’s natural ecosystems.

Makely, J., Michael. Spring 2014 University of Nevada Press. University of Nevada Press. Spring 2014. 17 Apr. 2014