Obama’s remarks reflected new national initiatives the White House says are “built on the spirit of collaboration and innovation that first catalyzed Lake Tahoe’s historic conservation efforts”.
President Barack Obama touted new conservation efforts as integral to combating climate change August 31, as he unveiled new funds to fight wildfires on public lands and a strategy to ramp up private and philanthropic support for US conservation.
“And just as this space is sacred to Native Americans, it should be sacred to all Americans”.
Before returning to Washington, Obama also was to become the first sitting president to visit Laos. That’s the presidential helicopter that he boarded after the summit to fly back to Reno-Tahoe International Airport before he continues on to Hawaii.
Earlier on Wednesday, Obama stopped in to a summit about the health of Lake Tahoe, the deep alpine lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the Nevada-California border whose average surface temperature reached an all-time recorded high previous year. “We’ve proven that the choice between our environment, our economy and our health is a false one”. This year, President Obama shared the stage with U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein as well as Governor Jerry Brown. Annual snowfall levels in the nearby mountains have been on a steady decline, reducing the cool snowmelt that streams into the lake and replenishes its oxygen supply, said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
Many people said that climate change is affecting the Lake, and more needs to be done to ensure it stays just as attractive for generations to come.
Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Dianne Feinstein of California are praising the unprecedented, bipartisan work that has been done to protect Lake Tahoe over the past two decades.
“Never seen him in person, wanted to bring my girls out her to see him”, says Erron Smith of Sacramento.It was a sold out event as thousands of people came out not only to see the President but to support an effort to Protect Lake Tahoe.
That was the year President Bill Clinton visited to inaugurate the Lake Tahoe Summit, which annually draws national, state, and local leaders, researchers, and residents together to discuss ways to “Keep Tahoe Blue”. This year’s summit was hosted by retiring Nevada Sen.
Now he is working with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer – both speakers at this year’s summit – to reauthorize the act for ten more years of funding.
Scientists believe an array of factors such as storm-water runoff, vehicle traffic and nearby construction have fueled the loss of clarity in the alpine lake, leading to major investments over the last 20 years by Congress, private groups, local authorities and the states of California and Nevada. Warmer temperatures also increase the surface water temperature; a recent UC Davis report found that the lake is warming faster than ever recorded. Throughout the trip, Obama is hoping to elevate issues of climate change and conservation as he works to lock in his environmental legacy. The president also joked that he was drawn to Lake Tahoe as a fan of the film The Godfather 2.
The president will get a firsthand view of the protected areas on Thursday when he tours Midway Atoll, a small coral island in the western reaches of the monument.
Obama’s emphasis on dealing with climate change comes at a time when more Americans agree that something should be done.