Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe offering virtual services

Jan. 2021 - The Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe offers virtual services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays. If you have a question or need assistance, please call 530-543-2600 and leave a message or email us at pa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us and we will respond at our earliest convenience.

Keep Tahoe Bears Wild!

The Lake Tahoe Basin is Bear County. Residents and visitors should always store and dispose of garbage properly in bear resistant containers. Keep your distance and never feed any wild animal. Learn more about peacefully coexisting with bears at tahoebears.org.

Tahoe Yellow Cress Conservation

From crystal blue waters to snow-capped peaks, Lake Tahoe is a special place. Part of what makes it special are the unique plants and animals that call the lake home. Tahoe Yellow Cress (Rorippa subumbellata) is one of these organisms. Follow the link above to learn more about Tahoe Yellow Cress.

Western pearlshell mussels in the Tahoe Basin

The western pearlshell (Margaritifera falcata) is a freshwater mussel that is native to the Tahoe basin. The species ranges from Alaska south to central California and east to Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and Montana. Western pearlshell mussels inhabit cold creeks and rivers with clean water, where you can find them wedged between cobbles, partially burrowed in sand, underneath mats of aquatic vegetation, or beneath undercut banks. They have an average lifespan of 60 to 70 years, some living more than one hundred years, making them one of the longest-lived animal species on Earth. If you find western pearlshell mussels, please do not handle or disturb individuals due to their sensitivity and rarity in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Follow the link above to read more about this amazing native species. 

Stream Profile Chamber at Taylor Creek closed for repairs

October 18, 2018 - The Stream Profile Chamber at Taylor Creek remains closed for repairs. Contractors are working to install the new glass as soon as possible. Follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates and see photos of the cracked glass at https://www.facebook.com/LakeTahoeUSFS/posts/1586927501435469 or https://twitter.com/LakeTahoeUSFS/status/1012813945457991680.

Help save a bear!

Lake Tahoe agencies remind residents and visitors to practice proper food storage and trash disposal at all times while in bear country. Intentional or unintentional feeding of bears can result in the bear being killed, fines and/or jail time for violators. Every year law enforcement and state wildlife officers respond to hundreds of calls in which bears may pose a public safety threat and/or are damaging property. In some cases, the animals are euthanized. Become part of the solution and help us save our Tahoe bears! Read more at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ltbmu/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD581009.

Wellness Outings: A prescription for “Nature as Medicine”

The Lake Tahoe Basin Managment Unit is proud to partner with Barton Health to highlight the power of Vitamin N(ature). Recovering from a major joint surgery doesn’t usually inspire the idea of snowshoeing by moonlight, but that’s exactly what Carol Bennis, age 75, was asked to do during her recovery last February. Carol had never been on snowshoes before, or hiked at night, but when she heard her surgeon and other patients at a similar stage of recovery would be there, she decided to try it out. On a clear night at Tallac Historic Site, Carol and twelve other patients joined Barton Health clinicians and Forest Service rangers on a “wellness walk” through the snow. Carol loved the experience. Follow the link above to read more.

Snowmobilers asked to avoid areas with minimal snow

With snowpack in the Lake Tahoe Basin at low levels and in anticipation of a busy holiday weekend, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit asks snowmobilers to shift their activities to locations with adequate snow coverage, within permitted snowmobile areas. Snowmobile operators should avoid bare dirt and patchy snow and should not ride across streams or over small trees or brush.  Operating snowmobiles on too little snow creates ruts in the soil and crushes vegetation. Follow the link above to read more.    

Forest Service seeks comments on proposed Incline Management Plan

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit wants to hear what you think about the Incline Management Plan. The comment period ends soon, so learn more about the proposal and how to comment by following the link above.    

TFFT offers safety tips for July Fourth holiday at Lake Tahoe

The Fourth of July holiday period is the busiest time of year in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Expect extremely crowded conditions and excess traffic. Pack your patience!  Because of the basin’s high elevation, expect intense sunlight during the day and much lower temperatures at night. If planning to camp overnight at a designated campground, make reservations ahead of time at http://www.recreation.gov or https://www.reserveamerica.com/. For a schedule of events, download the flyer below.  Follow the link above to read more.

June is Wildlife Awareness Month

June is Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Month. Please remember that campfires at Lake Tahoe are only allowed in developed campgrounds, never on the beach or in the general forest! Over 90% of wildfires in the Lake Tahoe Basin are caused by illegal campfires, please don't risk our community's safety!! Visit ThinkFirst.org to learn more. Below is a Wildfire Awareness Month Schedule of Events and a 'Save the Date' for the Angora Commoration.

Lake Tahoe Basin hosts 12th Annual Military Winter Sports Camp

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit along with partner, Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours, participated in the 12th Annual Military Winter Sports Camp organized by Achieve Tahoe on Thursday, January 26, 2017.  Achieve Tahoe, whose mission is to provide affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence, leads the way in adaptive sports and recreation for people with disabilities. Follow the link above to see photos and read more.

Looking to the Future and Learning from the Past in our National Forests

Forests are changing in ways they’ve never experienced before because today’s growing conditions are different from anything in the past. The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, exotic diseases and pests are present, and landscapes are fragmented by human activity often occurring at the same time and place. Follow the link above to read more.

Wild & Scenic Rivers Act 50th Anniversary

As the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act nears a half century of protecting some of our greatest rivers, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating its accomplishments—and in working for its future. While there is much we have to do, there is much we have done, and to the thousands of people across the country that have worked tirelessly to save their local river, it’s time to take a moment to celebrate, to congratulate each other, to look forward. Visit the link above to read more.

Sand to Snow National Monument

On February 12, 2016, President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the Sand to Snow National Monument east of Los Angeles in Southern California. The 154,000-acre monument extends from Bureau of Land Management lands on the Sonoran desert floor up to over 10,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Wilderness on the San Bernardino National Forest. Follow the link above to read more.

Conservation Education Report 2015

The Lake Tahoe Basin Mgmt Unit Conservation Education report for 2015 is now available. The Conservation Education Program works with partners and volunteers to deliver programs to youth, local communuties, formal and non-formal educators and visitors to National Forest Lands. Programs connect people with nature, promote environmental literacy, provide ecological restoration opportunities  and create future land stewards. Follow the link above to view the report.

Fall Color in the Lake Tahoe Basin

The Lake Tahoe Basin and nearby Hope Valley are great places to experience fall foiliage.  Follow the link above to see photos and suggestions for the best areas to view fall color at Lake Tahoe.

Return to the Summit Video

The Eldorado National Forest (NF), in cooperation with El Dorado County and the State of California, placed a California State Historical Marker at the site of the 1968 Olympic training facility at Echo Summit on the Eldorado National Forest. A celebration entitled “Return to the Summit” honored the site where U.S. Olympic Men’s Track and Field athletes broke four world records during the Olympic trials at a tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Follow the link above to watch the video. 

The state of California's trees

Urban street trees provide critical services by lowering energy use, storing carbon, inducing air pollutant uptake, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, among other benefits. Although the number of street trees in California has increased from 5.9 million in 1988 to 9.1 million in 2014, street tree density has declined by 30% as cities added more streets than trees. The total annual benefits provided by street trees are $1 billion. For every dollar spent on tree care, $5.82 in benefits is returned. Visit the link above to read more.

South Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition

Yesterday, local students from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District learned about the cultural history and environment of Lake Tahoe during the Children's Forest program at the Tallac Historic Site. The program is coordinated by the South Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (STEEC), which is a collaborative network of over 20 local agencies and organizations. Follow the link above to check out the video.

U.S. Forest Service: responding and adapting to wildland fire

The loss of property and firefighters during wildfires are a reminder of the challenges we face in reducing the risks associated with large, unpredictable wildfires. Climate change, drought, insect infestations, changing land-use patterns, and other factors have contributed to increases in the complexity and in the numbers of wildfires across the United States. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2014/stories/04/responding-wildland-fire.shtml to read more.

Skyrocketing Fire Costs

Over the past twenty years, a changing climate, population growth near forests and rangelands, and the buildup of brush and other fuels have dramatically increased the severity of wildfires and the damage that they cause to our natural lands and communities. Year after year, fire seasons grow longer and longer, destroying homes, threatening critical infrastructure and the watersheds that provide clean drinking water to millions of people. Between 1980 and 2011, the average annual number of fires on Federal land more than doubled, and the total area burned annually tripled. Even as fire seasons have grown, the way we pay to fight these fires remains unchanged – and fundamentally broken. Follow the link above to read more.

Fire is indispensable for healthy and productive forests

Fire is so important in the Sierra Nevada that it can be seen as medicine for ailing forests. However, as with most medicines, too large a dose is harmful. Past fire exclusion and timber harvest practices have resulted in significant changes to the structure and composition of many western coniferous forests, and they are often much denser and less resilient to drought, insects, disease and wildfire. Follow the link above to read more.

Forest Service smokejumpers part of Disney magic with new animated film

The U.S. Forest Service and movie-goers have seen agency-managed lands as the backdrop for dozens of motion pictures over the years, but this year it is participating in the magic of Hollywood in a slightly different way – as a creative consultant for the soon-to-be-released “Planes: Fire and Rescue.” Visit the link above to read more.

The first step to help avoid wildland fire disaster is acting wisely

“People who live in a wildland-urban interface often forget or disregard the wildland fire cycles and dangers,” said Tom Harbour, Fire and Aviation Management director. “We need homeowners to understand that they can make a difference by making their homes defensible from wildfire.”  Follow the link above to read more.

Wild mustangs help Forest Service wilderness rangers do their jobs

Horses are used all over U.S. Forest Service lands, especially in the west to get work done on trails and in wilderness areas. What’s interesting about the Blackrock Ranger Station on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming is the way they get such specialized horses. Wild mustangs are rounded up on Bureau of Land Management property, and then given to the Forest Service for free as weanlings or yearlings. Those horses are then trained to work in the wilderness. Folow the link above to read more.

Alpine OHV trail success story in Lake Tahoe area

The Blackwood Canyon OHV trail on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is a good case study of a successful 20+ year old joint project between the U.S. Forest Service and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division’s grant program.

Forest Service Launches New Wildland Fire Website

The Forest Service launched a new wildland fire website with insightful information to help you learn about all these Forest Service activities from before, during and after a wildland fire. You’ll read about how the Forest Service feeds its firefighters, how they live while in fire camp and about the state-of-the-art technology they use while protecting natural resources and communities.

Life’s a Hoot for Owlets Saved from Wildfire

As the flames from the recent Carstens Fire in the Sierra National Forest approached, two baby Western screech owls huddled abandoned in a nest. Then, without warning, the tree that was their home came crashing down to the ground. Firefighters working to contain the quickly-spreading fire had cut down the tree to build a fire control line. Too young to fly, the baby owls tumbled to the ground and onto a roadway. Read more by following the link above

2018 Conservation Education Accomplishment Report

The LTBMU is pleased to share the Conservation Education and Interpretive Services Accomplishment Report for fiscal year 2018. The LTBMU Conservation Education Program works with partners and volunteers to deliver programs to youth, local communities and create future land stewards. Program focus areas include Fuels Reduction and Forest Health, Watershed Restoration and Habitat Improvement; Water Quality Improvement; and Recreation and Human Responsibility. Follow the link below to view the report.  

2018 Conservation Education and Interpretive Services Accomplishment Report  (PDF 5,415 KB

What's the deal with all those brown trees on Spooner Summit?

Scorch resulting from prescribed fires is expected and accepted. Trees can survive with as little as 10 to 30 percent green needles remaining in the canopy. Some trees will die, and this is also expected and accepted. Often, the trees that succumb to scorch are the less fire-resistant species, such as white fir. Many of the trees should green back up within the next year to two years, helped by the thinning we’ve done there, which decreases competition for water, sunlight and nutrients. View photos and read more by following the link listed above. 

Update: Puff and Fluff the owls return home

Puff and Fluff, the baby owls that Forest Service firefighters saved during the Carstens Fire in June, are finally home. Terri Williams of the Fresno Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Service released the Western Screech-Owls on July 24 near where they were found over a month ago in a downed tree in the Sierra National Forest. Read more and watch video of their release by visiting the link above.

Web cam catches sockeye salmon returning to Tongass spawning grounds

The Forest Service has placed the salmon cam in the creek on the Tongass National Forest so viewers world-wide have the opportunity to view fish in their natural setting. The ability to watch salmon in the wild is a treat for many people, but the underwater camera gives you a more intimate, unique look. To view the salmon cam, follow this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-VY9rPwQJc

Rescued bobcat Chips returns to natural habitat

Chips the bobcat, who was only four weeks old when she was rescued last August by U.S. Forest Service firefighter Tad Hair and his Mad River Hand hotshot crew, is now 8 months old and back in bobcat territory in Lassen County, Calif.

Super-sized goldfish pose giant problem for Lake Tahoe

The warm-water fish recently made the news when University of Nevada researchers displayed photos of an enormous goldfish found in Lake Tahoe. While the goldfish may seem innocent and beautiful in a glass fish bowl, they like other invasive species can wreak havoc on the lake’s natural ecosystem.