With the general decline in public golf course use, now is a good time to change the Lake Tahoe Golf Course’s layout to improve the Upper Truckee River.
Currently 1.5 miles of the river run through the 18-hole golf course. The river’s course through the golf course follows a straighter, dredged route originally used to float logs to a long gone sawmill only memorialized by a road nearby called Sawmill Road.
The river through the golf course has eroded banks and adds to the sedimentation, having a deleterious effect on Lake Tahoe’s clarity. Reportedly the river has eroded as much as 50 feet of bank over 20 years in some places.
To get the golf course out of the river, the state Department of Parks has proposed moving a leg of the golf course onto Washoe State Park, which has remained undeveloped for 27 years with absolutely no trails.
We consider that a good plan that maintains the public golf course at 18 holes and gives the state an opportunity to restore the 1.5 miles of Upper Truckee River to a meandering stream with slower and shallower flows like the rest of the river is downstream. The downstream section can be kayaked by amateurs. Restoration will permit kayaking on this section as well. The state plans to replant trees, grass and shrubs along the banks of the restored section.
The restoration project is estimated to cost $10 million. We presume that includes a golf cart bridge over the Upper Truckee River to the new Washoe Meadows portion of the course. Half is expected to come from grants and half from the golf concessionaire. We expect when it all shakes out there will be more than half funded by grants.
We congratulate the state Parks Department for coming up with this innovative plan.