Press Releases

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) announced that critical federal funding he requested to help protect Lake Tahoe and detect wildfires in the region has been included in the newly-released fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies.

Specifically, the appropriations bill includes language directing the U.S. Forest Service to fully implement the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, legislation sponsored by Heller last Congress. It also includes $3 million that will go toward wildfire management in Lake Tahoe, and a minimum of $500,000 that will go to organizations that integrate technological advances to fight wildfire, such as AlertTahoe, a camera system that helps firefighters around the Lake Tahoe Area monitor and respond faster to deadly blazes.

The announcement comes after Heller sent two letters to U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Interior and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in October requesting the Subcommittee include federal resources to help preserve Lake Tahoe and fund technologies to thwart wildfires.

“As a lifelong Nevadan and an avid outdoorsman, Lake Tahoe remains a source of memories for me and my family, including my four children and two grandchildren,” said Heller. “Lake Tahoe’s exceptional beauty offers a unique experience to tourists and countless families like mine, and helps drive our local economy and create jobs. That is why I thank the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior and Environment for recognizing the Lake’s importance and including funds that will help preserve this area for generations to come and protect it from wildfires. I’m also very appreciative that this bill directs $500,000 to support AlertTahoe, which helps identify and fight wildfires. As we saw earlier this year across the West and in Nevada, these deadly blazes can spread quickly, and innovative technologies like AlertTahoe can help us better protect our neighbors and friends as soon as tragedy strikes.”

Heller has a long history of introducing and supporting measures to protect Lake Tahoe. His Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, a bipartisan bill he introduced with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to restore the Lake Tahoe Area, was signed into law in December of 2016. The legislation was the product of years of bipartisan collaboration to ensure Lake Tahoe remains a clean, safe, and vibrant outdoor destination for both Nevadans and tourists alike.

Heller has also has fought to protect Nevadans from wildfires. This summer he introduced the Emergency Fuel Reduction Act, S. 1752, which would help prevent the spread of wildfires by expediting the review process for prevention projects when risks on public lands pose a threat to critical infrastructure, private land holders, and endangered species habitats. In October he sent a letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), to take immediate action on forest management reform legislation, including his bill, to help prevent future devastation.