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Public input sought for Camp Richardson Resort Retrofit project


usfs-logo-282x300-9442819-9312351USFS NEWS RELEASE

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. –The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is seeking comments on improvements proposed under the Camp Richardson Resort Campground and Vehicle Circulation Best Management Practice (BMP) Retrofit project.  The Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzes four alternatives, including the proposed action and no action.  The proposed action is designed to reduce water quality impacts and traffic congestion, upgrade campground and day use facilities; improve parking and emergency access as well as access for people with disabilities at the resort.

The project area is approximately 79 acres and is located three miles north of South Lake Tahoe, California, on Highway 89.  Camp Richardson Resort is a publicly owned recreation facility managed by the Forest Service and operated under a special use permit.  The resort hotel, campground and day use facilities are a popular visitor destination and are often occupied to full capacity during the summer months.

The LTBMU proposes to retrofit the three existing campground areas with bear-proof food storage lockers and trash containers, remove outdated restrooms and construct new toilet/shower buildings as well as provide year-round camping opportunities.  The proposal includes a new campground entry south of Highway 89, and an internal road system that would provide improved vehicle access to the campground areas.  New underground water, sewer, and electricity utility systems are also proposed.

Other project areas include proposed new bike paths, one of which would end at a new day use restroom building located between the Beacon restaurant and the Tallac Historic Site.  This new restroom would connect to existing water and sewer utilities.  Safety lighting is proposed along this route as well as along Jameson Beach Road.  User‐created trails within Pope Marsh would be decommissioned/restored or upgraded to allow for nonmotorized/pedestrian use from the Badger’s Den campground area to Jameson Beach and Pope Beach Roads.

The proposed improvements to existing parking facilities would include the paving of approximately 75 existing unpaved parking spaces east of Jameson Beach Road and the installation of a paved walkway.  Also proposed are 26 additional paved parking spaces along the western edge of Jameson Beach Road.  BMPs would be installed in the parking areas surrounding the hotel and in coordination with Caltrans, elimination of Highway 89 shoulder parking within the resort corridor is proposed.  These areas would be planted with native/adapted species.

Project work would start as soon as this fall or next spring and would be completed in phases in order to provide for continued access to the campground and day use facilities.  Temporary area closures or restrictions in access would occur during project implementation and some noise and visual impacts from these activities would affect the campground and the beach.  The campground upgrade would require tree removal including the removal of some large diameter trees.

The 30-day comment period begins on July 9, 2011 and ends on August 8, 2011.  The EA is available for review at the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor’s office located at 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, or online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/CampRichRetrofit.  For more information on the project, or on how to provide comment, contact Daniel Cressy at (530) 543-2857 or email [email protected].

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