Nov. 11, 2016 Meeting Agenda + Notes

November 18, 2016


Participants: Alan Heyvaert (DRI), Marc Pitchford (DRI), Sudeep Chandra (UNR), Steve Tyler (UNR), 
Geoff Schladow (UCD), Steve Sadro (UCD), John Melack (UCSB), Pat Manley (PSW), Matt Busse (PSW), 
Ramon Naranjo (USGS), Todd Ferrara (CNRA), Jim Lawrence (NDCNR) Zach Hymanson (CNRA), Jennifer Carr 
subbing for My-Linh Nguyen (NDEP), Dan Segan (TRPA), Julie Reagan (TRPA), Patrick Wright (CTC),

Shane Romsos (SIG), Alison Toy (UCD)

 

1. Welcome and Recap

Geoff welcomed all attendees and asked for introductions.  He then reviewed the proposed agenda.  
No changes were made to the agenda.

 

2. Update on Council funding, contracting, and operations

Zach confirmed the existing Council budget is $450,000, which has been allocated according to the 
approved work plan.  TRPA has agreed to administer these funds on behalf of the Council.  
Additional funding ($150,000) is expected to become available with approval of the State budget 
(July 2017).  The Council is still relying on a single funding source.

First subcontract between UCD and TRPA provides funds to support Council operations, 
communications, and website development. Contract is at UCD for review.

 

Next group of contracts will support substantive work by Council members. Dan sent Council members 
a model contract that TRPA has used for consultant contract work. It is a general contract that 
allows for work orders to specify the work along with other details (e.g., funding, timeline, and 
products).

 

The model contract has been through two rounds with UNR; TRPA and DRI have essentially come to 
terms; UCD is still reviewing language used in a previous agreement with TRPA; and TRPA is getting 
close with USGS. Council members mentioned that intellectual property and how it’s handled will be 
an important issue. TRPA does not have a stance as the contracting agency. The standard operating 
procedure is that the universities have unfettered access to data collected as part of the contract 
work, as does whoever is funding the project. Standard clause: 30 days’ notice to TRPA that data or 
information is being published or made public.

 

John ran the model contract language through UCSB contracts office. Issues with contract insurance 
language were flagged: their read is that everything lands on the shoulders of UCSB. Dan stated the 
proposed language is standard two party contract language from TRPA. Geoff noted that UCD sponsored 
programs office has accepted this language.  He suggested having UCSB UCD sponsored programs office 
staff talk directly.

 

ACTION: Dan and TRPA contract staff will continue working with all respective Council entities to 
come up with a contract that all can use. Dan is hopeful that these contracts can be completed at 
the beginning of 2017, although the holidays are a factor.  Geoff thanked Dan, on behalf of the 
Council for his work to get these contracts in place.

Zach summarized the indirect cost rate (ICR) discussion during the Bi-state Executive Committee. 
Zach has some latitude to negotiate a reduced indirect cost rate, with help/advice of the 
co-chairs. The current ICR with UCD is 25% for projects entirely funded with state of California 
funding.  This rate will increase to 35% in 2017. UNR has agreed to accept the same ICR as UCD for 
Science Council work.  Zach is in discussions with DRI to negotiate a reduced ICR. He expects to 
have an answer by the end of November. PSW ICR is 15%.  USGS ICR is roughly 81%, and there is no 
negotiation possible.

 

Zach sent out travel reimbursement forms to all Council member. They seem pretty straight forward, 
but if there are any questions contact Zach, or TRPA staff. TRPA strongly prefers making electronic 
payments, which will require you to provide an account number and routing number.

 

There is still one council member position available (UC systemwide position). Scott Stevens, a 
fire ecologist at UC Berkeley declined the offer to join. Scott suggested contacting Max Moritz 
(UCB), who is also a Fire ecologist.  Max is now working at UCSB. Zach asked the Council members 
for other suggestions of expertise they would want to add to the existing Council.  Suggestions 
have been made for finding someone with a ‘forest background’ e.g., landscape ecology, forest 
management, forest ecology, forest soil and water.  There also was a suggestion for an ecological 
statistician, someone who could help thinking about monitoring in the long run.  There also was a 
suggestion to include someone with expertise in researching the effects of recreation, possibly a 
social scientist.  Todd acknowledged that we do want someone with good technical expertise, but 
they also must be a good contributor at the meetings.

 

Matt noted that he can always reach out internally (USFS/PSW) to statisticians. Marc noted that all 
Council members are to be able to reach out internally for additional expertise. Matt agreed, and 
suggested the Council should not to focus on covering all disciplines.

 

ACTION: John will work to identify possible candidates in the UC System outside of UC Davis who can 
contribute social science/economics/ sociology.  Zach will work with Alan and Geoff to contact Max 
Moritz to determine his interest.

 

3. Schedule for 2017 Council meetings

The MOU establishing the Science Advisory Council says the Council will meet four times each year. 
Zach initially suggested a quarterly meeting schedule, and that Council members choose a specific 
day of the month. Once things get going, meetings may be longer as projects pick up. Alan 
questioned if every third month allows enough meeting time during

the Council’s formative stage.  He suggests every other month would be a more proactive schedule.

 

ACTION: Council members decide to meet every other month starting January 2017
through July.  Meeting day is the 3rd Thursday of the month, so the specific meeting dates are 
January 19, March 16, May 18, and July 20, 2017.  Meetings will start at 10 AM. Meeting location is 
room 119 of the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences building. Meetings beyond July will be 
determined later in 2017.

 

Sudeep asked if it’s possible to set up video conferencing abilities. Weather might necessitate 
video conferencing, and travel is costly for some Council members.  Other Council members supported 
this idea.

 

ACTION:  Alison and Zach will work with UCD information technology staff to determine what 
equipment is needed.  Zach will pursue equipment acquisition with TRPA staff.

 

4. Council review of threshold assessment

Zach provided some general background regarding the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) threshold 
standards.  TRPA currently has more than 170 threshold standards, and the majority of these 
standards were established in the 1908’s.  TRPA is required to evaluate the status and trend of 
environmental conditions in the Tahoe basin relative to the established standards every 4-5 years. 
These evaluations have occurred since the late 80’s. The last two evaluations (2011 and 2015) have

undergone an independent technical review. Both reviews have identified substantial deficiencies with the

threshold standards, and have recommended TRPA undertake a wholesale assessment of the standards.

 

In 2015 the TRPA governing board and staff identified assessment and update of the threshold 
standards as one of several high priority initiatives for the agency.  An initial assessment 
methodology was prepared by TRPA staff as part of the 2015 threshold evaluation report.  This 
assessment methodology was subjected to independent peer review; however, staff has not addressed 
those comments. The assessment methodology and the peer review comments have been provided to the 
Science Council with a request for the Council to critique these materials, and provide comments to 
staff that focus on recommended revisions to the assessment methodology.  TRPA staff’s intent is to 
critically examine the entire threshold system: threshold standards and the associated monitoring.

 

According to Dan Segan there is broad support from TRPA that the science council should look at 
threshold standards. The hope is that the Council can identified deficiencies in the standards, and 
help determine where we focus our energies. There is recognition that there could be a stronger 
nexus rooted in current science.

 

Marc noted that revisiting the thresholds has always been a dicey endeavor. Now is the time for a 
united spirit of collaboration and care, a time where different constituents can offer different 
viewpoints and come to a common point. It was a superb time in the 70s when these standards were 
being put together, but current conditions are different and we want to ensure we’re tracking the 
correct things. Can’t do everything, must be focused, to help things get funded.

 

The last threshold evaluation cost about $1 million. The work that the Council has funding to 
complete, will not fund a complete update of the threshold system. Developing a sound

assessment methodology, and testing that methodology on a subset of the standards is what the 
Council is shooting for. The hope is that outcomes of the Council’s work with TRPA staff will: (1) 
yield an assessment methodology that has been put to use; (2)
generates assessment results the reveal needed; (3) produce products that can be used by groups to 
debate/act on; and (4) give the Council and TRPA an idea of what the costs will be for a full 
update of the threshold system.

 

Geoff: the goal for the Council’s work should be to provide a product that meets the needs
of agencies. We run the risk of not fulfilling this goal if don’t have some idea at outset of how 
much money the agencies expect to spend on implementation of the threshold system. Ideally that 
information is needed at the start. There’s a balance between the kinds of data and information 
people want as part of the threshold system, and what agencies and
elected officials are willing to spend.  Do the agencies have an idea or preconceived notion
as to costs or funding available?

 

Sudeep seconds this issue: given finite resources available now, focus on one thing. What do the 
agencies want?  Get that out on the table early-on, and work it out from there.

 

Dan and Shane noted that TRPA has gone through what has been spent on monitoring, and the Science 
council can examine that information to get a general idea of what usually gets spent.

 

Marc suggested that it also is possible to offer something that is attractive enough that people 
will want it, and they will work to figure out the funds when they see it. Write a plan that is 
cognizant of existing funding, but also explain the need for additional funding. Monitoring happen 
all the time, and budgets are tight on that. We don’t want to feel financially constrained if it 
means not doing a complete and thorough job.

 

Alan agrees funding shouldn’t constrain plan. But the Council does need to be aware of how much 
we’re working with, and what the reality is. Multiple agencies are engaged, so funding 
possibilities are different.  Other opportunities could be available.

 

Marc suggested that recommendations for a revised threshold system could come up with a 
well-reasoned list of needs as well as costs. This would like result in a prioritized list of 
activities.

 

Jim noted there will be greater success of obtaining funding with specific ideas, i.e., of 
everything we looked at, these are the items that we think needs to be done, how we strategically 
chose these items, and how this meets the needs in Tahoe specifically. From a state department 
point of view we need specifics.

 

Marc: Let the decision makers make the decisions, we are providing them with choices.

 

a.  Assessment process:

Dan mentioned the existing standards were written some time ago, and the science of setting 
standards has changed.  The core of the assessment process is to evaluate the existing standards 
against a set of established criteria (i.e., the SMAART criteria).  Dan envisions a small group 
would go through all of the standards to determine if standard is specific, is it measurable, is it

attributable to the agency, etc. The results of this effort would generate a common assessment

data base, put context around the needs to improve the thresholds, and provide a common

information base to speak from. The relative importance of different threshold standards would

be based on stakeholder interests.

 

One option is to also have a place to show what level of effort has been applied to inform a 
threshold standard over the years, to provide additional perspective. Todd thinks this is important 
for entities to understand how much money has already gone in, and putting a lot of money into 
something irrelevant is useful to know.

 

Alan noted that the Councils initial objective is to help the TRPA capture an assessment 
methodology that is robust.

 

b.  Timeline associated with the assessment process:

Dan says TRPA released the final draft threshold evaluation report at the end of September, and had 
it open to the public for review. The final report will be officially released at the December 14th 
governing board meeting. Everything in the report that has been reviewed, and all review comments 
have been addressed, except those on the assessment methodology.

 

The current plan is to bring a revised assessment methodology to the February 23, 2017 governing 
board meeting.  The assessment would begin soon after governing board approval.  It is expected 
that the assessment methodology would go the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission (APC) in early 
February, so the Council’s work to review/revise the assessment methodology will need to be 
completed by the end of January.

 

Alan suggested the following steps related to the Councils work to review/revise the assessment 
methodology in collaboration with TRPA staff:

•   Compile Council’s comments from today’s discussion in the form of a memo from the
Council to Dan.

•   The comment memo also should reference as appropriate, independent peer review comments.

•   Council members would be available to consult with Dan as he works through the comments to 
revise the assessment methodology write-up.

•   Dan will provide the Council with a revised write-up prior to the next Council meeting (Jan 
19th).  

 

The Council would discuss the revised chapter during its meeting.  The Council would submit 
a second memo based on its meeting discussions, which would go to the governing board along with 
the assessment methodology.

 

c.  Discussion of the TRPA assessment methodology:

How TRPA develops the assessment information is what the Council is asked to help determine.

 

Geoff says that the whole threshold system review needs to be predicated by conceptual models (CM). 
Unless you have a conceptual model how can you communicate how the parts of the system interact? 
How can you identify at which point in the process you want to have a threshold standard? How do 
you come up with conclusions about how the system operates? How can you tell it provides value?

 

Comment: Insert a question as part of the assessment: is this supported by a results chain or CM? 
Science Council could easily say all standards should be supported by some sort of CM according to 
Dan.

 

Sudeep is just trying to think of a work flow, to get this information. Call for building CM 
doesn’t mean that we need to build them. This is all process-based information that can be 
considered as guidance provided from this Council.

 

Patrick notes that there is a desired to reduce the 170+ standards to a manageable level, and to 
craft the standards so that they drive agency investments. Currently agency investments are not 
driven by threshold standards.  The Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) and associated 
performance levels currently carry much more weight in driving funding decisions. In pointing out 
areas where CM would be necessary, we also need a way to use the threshold as guides to investment, 
e.g., in a ten year road map, that includes estimates of what it would take (financial resources) 
to realize a change in environmental condition relative to a threshold standard.  This is the kind 
of thing that could affect funding.

 

Marc says that someone will have to define what people’s tasks are. Someone will need to find an 
expert for each of those standards/thresholds, who will be tasked to come up with a CM. Find where 
each threshold standard fits, and those don’t would be candidates for removal.  Comment: Completing 
the SMAART assessment would occur first and evaluation in CM would occur second.

 

Sudeep says set realistic timeline and realize that just bringing people up to speed will take 
time; however, bringing people up to speed is very important. Prefers to not have a point person 
but to have more common meetings.

 

Geoff thinks the thresholds need to be relevant to every other issue in the basin.

 

Alan proposes to form a subcommittee of the Council for development of the assessment methodology 
comment memo. Keep longer term goals in mind that can be built into the assessment. This needs to 
be a collective effort, other people with more time to move this memo forward. Help TRPA come up 
with methodology for thresholds that will be relevant to other stakeholders in the basin. We want 
to create something that serves the current collective purpose, but could be modified over the 
years. While the Science Council continues to comment, give Dan some prioritization for how to 
start working on it and where to focus his time initially.

 

Comment: Zach - noted that his review of the draft assessment methodology generally described what 
would be done, but there was little information on how the assessment would be done or who would do 
what tasks.  Who is going to work through the SMAART process and populate the results matrix? 

Who’s going to process this data into usable information to make recommendations for next steps?

This needs to be written up so that agencies, stakeholders, and the general public call understand the

process. Clearly communicating the overall approach will encourage greater support.

 

Dan thinks expanding the assessment methodology description would be helpful.  How do we do it? Is 
it one person, is it a subcommittee, is it consensus, divvy up by expertise or background? When it 
goes to board, it can’t just be an assessment; it has to be a full proposal. Perhaps we also should 
expand more about how the results will be used. Should it be a public process where everyone can 
weigh in on the threshold assessment? TRPA has had thoughts about who will do the assessment.  If 
this was an internal assessment, it will not be seen as credible. Dan envisions different people 
will be in the room, interested in guidance, working with subcommittee, whose opinions needed, may 
not be the same people depending on the standards.

 

One suggestion is to divide the standards and find the appropriate knowledgeable people to deal 
with the various groups. Diagrams of how things fit together with background information, and 
describe the knowledge base that supports this model. Organizing them this way will enable us to 
see the interconnectedness (Marc). Things can easily relate back to scenic, forest, air quality, 
etc.

 

Jennifer thinks sustainable recreation touches everything, the web will be a tremendous resource.

 

Comment: Geoff – If you do decide to go the route of surveying different part of the community then 
don’t lump all the result together, keep the science community responses separate from public 
responses.  A lot could be learn by examining the differences and commonalities. What agencies want 
may be different from science and public. Keep result separate, so you can compare and contrast.

 

Comment: Marc – Look at a broad slice of different stakeholders. Use public outreach to populate 
the matrix additionally with a list of technical expertise and policies. If three set of answers 
show broad consensus, that’s good. Alternatively, it also is worth noting if three set of answers 
show a widely varied preference. Sudeep says this is a good reason to integrate a social scientist 
into the council.

 

Differing opinions potentially could result from a survey, e.g., responses to the question is the 
threshold standard ‘X’ specific? What is important is that TRPA engage the broader community, and 
utilize the results in the assessment. How this engagement occurs should be a documented part of 
the process, in order to build confidence and support.

 

Comment: Dan would like guidance when that outreach should occur? Is that part of the assessment? 
Who decides what is relevant? Do we put people in a room and ask them to allocate their 100 coins 
to choose what standards are relevant.

 

d.  Thoughts on independent peer reviews:

Alan noted that there are some common themes that can be pulled out of peer reviews. For Dan’s 
purposes it would be great if we could capture the most important comments for Dan to deal with 
initially.

 

Comment: Marc - Reviewer 3 gave the best ideas; we should just go forth with what he proposes.

 

Comment: Alan - Work on creating preliminary conceptual models, broader community interaction, and 
integrating some of the suggestions.

 

Comment: Unknown- What is the purpose of the thresholds to begin with? Protect parts of the basin 
that people like. Do you then need to ask people what they care about in the form of survey?

Dan – take note of the relevance to policy makers and public. Not sure if there is one
answer for relevance.  Are these relevant to policy makers, public, stakeholder, or CM? The 
audience for this question could have a big effect on the answer.


Comment: Unknown- It was suggested that TRPA choose one set of threshold or standards and try the 
assessment. Issues and ambiguity will come out. Rather than do it all the first time through. Take 
that approach to start in on the actual assessment. SMARTER framework, add that other R. 
Achievable, Realistic, Relevant, Matrix, Specific, etc.

 

Funding priorities: biodiversity, resiliency, how are the thresholds relevant if it’s supposed to 
be so interdisciplinary. How do the thresholds evolve parallel to that? – Patrick Examine
how standards and the thresholds are moving forward. Can’t be too narrow, it’s not as
effective as it can be. Look at the standards as they exist today.

 

Comment: Sudeep- Need to think about the important funding mechanisms, 30 years from now, how to 
revisit that? Has the TRPA thought of that? One goal… is it forest management or clarity? 
Biodiversity, carbon management, forest fuels, what are the priorities?

 

e.  Post-lunch recap

 

Alison to compile meeting notes and distribute.  All Council members should take some time to dive 
a little deeper into the peer reviews and notes.   Everyone can email back to everyone any further 
comments. Send comments back to Dan by early- to mid-December is optimistic. Don’t want to spend 
too much time capturing our vision

 

Issue as a draft in January, have assessment proposal ready to go to APC and governing board in 
February.

 

Hard date for 1st draft memo soliciting feedback on – 16th Dec Friday, Dan ideally wants bullet 
points on what is going to inform the memo.

 

Comment: Unknown- Need to include information on who is doing the assessment, talk more about how 
assessment results will be used once it’s completed. Substantive changes, any heads up would be 
appreciated.

 

Take some time to compile comments and suggestions. Reference those suggestions in the final memo. 
Expect the final memo to include a sentence like “We have reviewed this chapter, and it is likely 
to meet the needs of the…”

 

Things Dan can start working on immediately:
The brainstorm ideas that came out of this meeting.

Don’t have to deal with the matrix, but think more about describing the process. How to incorporate 
conceptual models into the process.

 

There was quite a bit of back-and-forth regarding CM.  Should they be part of the initial 
assessment, or developed after the assessment for use in the larger threshold update? There are 
pros and cons to either approach.  Dan noted that CM were developed as part of the work to define 
the original threshold standards.  No doubt these CM would need to be updated, but they may provide 
a starting point.  Concern was expressed about the timing of work on the CM, as they can take 
substantial time to develop.


Comment: Unknown- As mentioned earlier, part of the initial assessment could include a
Look at the CM associated with each standard to see if that model works, in need of
revision, or is there something better for the assessment.  So you could add another column into 
the assessment matrix as to whether or not the current CM is still viable. Is it working?
If yes, then things are good. If no, then it is addressed later.

 

Comment: Unknown- The Council’s comments should help prioritize comments from the peer reviews Make 
sure that the main comments in these reviews are incorporated in the process represented in this 
chapter.

 

Comment: Unknown – The Council should be able to say whether an assessment of this nature the 
appropriate first step? Yes or no.  If no, then start with something else, and that something else 
looks like ‘X’.


Comment: Dan – would like the Council’s comments to recommend where in the process
CM development should occur and how they should be used.


Comment: Unknown- Think in terms of a three step process:
1) SMAART Assessment, matrix is the outcome
2) Develop/revise CM and use to show the points in the process the thresholds are focused
3) Use outcome of assessment and concept model to investigate a measurement system

Linking outcomes into management policies, i.e. air quality affects invasive species which affects 
recreation, etc. how that model will be changed. Can we see how what’s happening here affects the 
forest?

 

Memo is trivial part of the process but it needs to be right to guide the steps forward.

 

A lot of this partitioned based on what the compact says. Is there is going to be an RPA on top of 
state legislature that is tracking the thresholds and report on it?

Jim thinks the tracking method needs to be cleaned up. Make this a viable system and make it 
applicable to larger systems. Make it consistent, but it won’t be the driver for priorities. 
Immediate things that needs to be addressed, is how we take that and make it something more 
valuable.

 

Immediate results from assessment will give you strong indications. Prioritize based on assessment 
could be helpful.

 

Look at policies and look at goals. Is this redundant with another part with the system? Where 
issues live in the system and are there solutions? Is it fixing the standard or is it something 
completely different?

 

ACTION: Geoff proposes drafting a memo to send to Dan at TRPA before January 13th.
This can be completed with a little back and forth with Dan. Who does this? Alan, Pat, Marc, and 
Sudeep volunteered to serve on a subcommittee. Alan will serve as subcommittee lead
and point of contact. Zach is also available to help.


ACTION: Dan will send a link to the original threshold documentation, which includes conceptual 
models.  Zach will make sure all Council members receive this link.

Comment: Steve suggests allowing everyone to comment on draft memo one week/couple of days before 
it is due.


Comment: Marc- noted that assessment methodology proposed to exclude evaluation of a time component 
associated with a threshold standard.  He would like time to be retained as part of the assessment 
to make sure that information is retained. Timing for when a threshold should be met is important. 
Over what period of time do we want to achieve this threshold? If there’s no time, do we not have 
to worry about it? It’s a deficiency that should be included. This is our goal for 20 years or risk 
of being non-attainment. Should this time element live in the standard, or is it expressed as 
targets for restoration?

 

Is there value in writing timing into the standard? It helps with expectations. Not every standard 
may need to have timing tied in.  In terms of the assessment whether a time component is present or 
not could be a simple yes/no question tracked in a separate column in the matrix.

 

Comment: Zach- Suggests that initial assessment should include clear articulation of the goals and 
objectives relevant to each threshold area.  The threshold standards aren’t well- connect to the 
regional plan, and the EIP largely drives where government money goes. One way to unite those are 
common goals and objectives.  The goal statements probably take the form of desired conditions or 
vision statements.  Are these things that need to be updated?  Defining goals and objectives should 
be an early step in the assessment process.

 

Sudeep noted that it would be good to review the goal statements, and have them in one place.

Dan and Julie noted that goals were developed as community vision, in context of regional plan, 
several years ago. Julie has not seen a lot of changes in the last 7 years.


ACTION: TRPA will pull together key documents in order to provide some context.


ACTION: Subcommittee to look at all materials, and the goal is to have a draft memo by Dec 9th.  
Draft memo circulated to all Council members. Science Council provide feedback and finalized by Dec 
13th.


ACTION: Alison and Zach will have draft of the notes of Council comments to subcommittee by Dec 
1st.

 

5. Council member updates on Tahoe Basin science projects

 

Tahoe West project- Pat: This project is relevant to the Council. Collaborative effort among 
government landowners throughout much of the west side of the basin: Emerald bay to Tahoe City.  
This is a landscape planning effort for restoration effort to the forest ecosystems. Executive 
team, core team, science team that PSW is coordinating. On the science side: it’s a collective that 
has taken shape as opportunities have come along, it helps that regional institutions work 
together. Support a variety of interactive modules, i.e., climate change (Geoff, UCD). DRI, UNR, 
Portland State, and PSW contributing to an interactive modeling effort, to estimate how forest 
management treatment affect wildlife, water quality, and air quality. The science-management 
meetings have shown interest in coming up with a revised rendition of management issues identified 
long time ago. What was the original intent here? What does watershed restoration mean? All 
sciences come into play. Lots of discussion about meadow restoration, hydrology of streams, 
riparian restoration, how does that affect water quality? Funding depends on the growth aspects of 
project. What could be developed as a result of this? SNPLMA funding, building capacity, and how to 
apply this approach across the basin. There is the potential to connect with nearshore research, 
leading to more science collaboration at the land-water interface. Initial science effort is 
well-supported, and could get a lot of traction if approached correctly. For more information 
contact Pat.

 

Patrick - Monitoring, how about working to get a coordinated monitoring plan. One reason it hasn’t 
happened is because the TRPA discussion has dominated the conversation. Do we wait for the 
thresholds and standards to coordinate monitoring? This process for TRPA can really provide a 
framework for driving the direction of resource management. Monitoring the basin and regional 
change is an opportunity to really help drive things happening in the basin. Make what’s happening 
now relevant, find the relationship between thresholds and EIP with monitoring. Make the outcomes 
relevant and something that we ourselves would use in the future.

 

Extreme climate project – Geoff: This project is underway.  The goal is to use climate models for 
the Tahoe area to develop estimates of the extreme effects (droughts and
floods) of climate change, rather than the average effects.  Estimates of the extreme effects
should be much more meaningful to land managers.

 

SNPLMA funding – Alan:  - An email about SNPLMA funding was sent out to Council members.  In 
summary, there is about $8 million in SNPLMA funding available for expenditure in the Tahoe basin.  
These funds are the residual from previously approved projects that were not completed, or did not 
expend all of the allocated funding.  There is a ‘secondary list’ of projects, which can be considered for

funding with the remaining funds. Most of  the projects on this list are capital projects originally

proposed by the USFS. However, there is a science category on the list, although there are no specific

project proposals.  They don’t want a big science proposal. During the regular SNPMA rounds up to
10% of the funding was allocated to science, so the maximum available would be $800,000. SNPLMA 
doesn’t like to fund indeterminate things e.g., monitoring. Something more
focused with a discrete product/outcome. For science, this means an applied research project, or 
develop of new tools such as conceptual models. The timeline for developing a proposal is currently 
unknown.  Alan will attend the next Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee meeting, and bring back a 
report to the Science Council on the best way to proceed.

 

Jennifer – There would be value in communicating and tracking the science that is going on in the 
Tahoe Basin. Who’s doing what? How do we share information? A clearinghouse of some sort of what’s 
going on? Who’s done what? How does the Science Council attack the idea of what’s happening and 
what are we learning. Zach mentioned that science updates ideally could be something posted on a 
website, but currently there is no expectation that the Council will serve as a clearinghouse for 
Tahoe basin science. The Council is not in the position to oversee or coordinate all of the science 
going on in the basin.

 

Geoff adjourned the meeting 2:15 p.m.
 

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