Lake Tahoe, CA Residents to Protest Again at Lack of Action From Officials and Authorities Over Tourism and Trash Issues

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protest, Tahoe, California,
A previous protest. Credit: Truckee Tahoe Litter Group

To coincide with tourists flooding the area for the Labor Day holiday weekend, Lake Tahoe residents are organizing a further protest to highlight their continued unhappiness with local officials and authorities.

A peaceful protest is planned this afternoon, 3-7.30pm Friday, September 4th at the Meyers roundabout, with the emphasis on over-tourism, short term rentals, and trash.

Protests already took place at Truckee, Meyers, Incline Village, and Kings Beach over the weekend of 14th-16th August. John Lease, a 20-year South Lake Tahoe resident, was infuriated with how much trash continued to accumulate around his beautiful community along with the steady-flowing stream of tourists to the area during the pandemic. A couple of viral social media posts later led to the formation of the organized protests.

“Tahoe is being thrashed,” Lease told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Lease, along with other long-time South Lake Tahoe residents, believe the city is not properly handling tourism and the traffic issues that coincide, and that these tourists are polluting the area with an overflow of trash that is being littered all over the place. 

protest, Tahoe, California,
Credit: Truckee Tahoe Litter Group

Tony Risso, along with Lease, is one of the organizers of today’s event. And while the previous protests did bring attention to the issues afflicting South Lake Tahoe locals, the reaction by the city and council was underwhelming. Hence these further protests…

“They put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. We are gathering to showcase traffic, the exploitation of VHRs in the county, and garbage issues. We don’t want to see the end of tourism, we want to just see them deal with the overtourism issue.”

– Risso told the Tahoe Daily Tribune

sherry mcconkey, tahoe, california
Sherry McConkey is asking town officials to step up and make a difference. Credit: Facebook

Sherry McConkey also joined the campaign asking local authorities, who are being accused of not doing enough about the disruption caused by the influx of tourists to Lake Tahoe, CA hotspots, to step up and make a difference.

Classy. Credit: Facebook

Sherry, the widow of legendary freeskier Shane McConkey, is begging Truckee Town Council to do something, and wrote her frustrations on a Facebook post, below:

Dear Truckee Town Council,

I’m sure you are sick of everyone’s emails about how much litter has been dumped in our community. Our roads are strewn with trash, our trees, boulders, and picnic tables are covered in graffiti and our Lakes have become dumping grounds. I am compelled to add to the growing chorus of voices.

I understand that it must be overwhelmingly hard to come up with solutions for everything our community is facing, I am asking you to make that difference now.

One of the most inspiring aspects of my position as Executive Director of the Shane McConkey Foundation is our annual Eco-Challenge. School kids from elementary on up, identify an environmental problem in their community, and work together to solve it. The kids are impassioned and they are brilliant and working together, they do make a difference. They have even presented problems and solutions to the Truckee Town Council.

I get sad when I see the kids so impassioned with executable ideas and nothing happens. They are trying so hard to give back to this community and to the world, but we adults just sit back smile, think they are cute and do nothing, while they beg our town leaders to do something about solvable issues such as plastic straws and bags, styrofoam, and trash.

Why are you doing nothing to address what is currently happening to our community? I’m sure there is a reason and If there are reasons, then please explain them to us so we have a better understanding of why it seems nothing is happening. It’s baffling that South Shore and other towns can make big changes and hold their visitors and community members accountable, but beautiful North Tahoe can’t.

PLEASE, I’m begging, we are all begging for you to do something. Show our kids what is possible. Make them proud that their hard work is paying off. Give them hope that these projects that they work on so hard can make the difference, not only in our local community but perhaps on a grander scale, and even help save this world.

If I, or my organization, or the kids involved with Eco-Challenge can help you in any way to make the difference that we need, please ask.

Thank you for understanding and hearing our plea.

Kind regards,

tahoe, graffiti
Tourists blamed for graffiti. Credit: Facebook

Another resident posted the following on Facebook, along with images of graffiti in the area:

Truckee / Tahoe’s elected town leaders and council need to do something immediately to stop the trashing of Tahoe. Our community is at its breaking point with close to 100,000 people packed into completely unregulated short term rentals who are literally trashing Tahoe. Our community is not capable of handling this volume of tourists here which is on clear display at every park, beach, or natural gathering place in the Tahoe Truckee area.

Dave Polivy, Jessica Abrams, Tony Commendatore, Anna Klovstad why are you not acting on any of these issues?

Why does Truckee and Tahoe have no money in our community budget for litter clean up, trash control, citations for graffiti but $millions of dollars to bring tourists in and create thousands of new housing units in an area that’s already bursting at the seams.

Our elected officials’ priorities are completely out of whack with the environmental disaster going on in Tahoe and need to be held accountable to act like we need them to or voted out.

Credit: Facebook

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