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First New Tahoe Campground In 20 Years Sparks Controversy

The first new Lake Tahoe campground in more than 20 years was proposed last month, but not everyone is excited about it.

Located along the Tahoe Rim Trail, the 550-site Brockway Campground will devote 60 percent of sites to tent camping. The rest will be split between RVs and “eco-shelters,” which spokesperson Jessica Weaver [with developer Mountainside Partners] defines as “…a canvas tent on a platform, or a yurt, for basically those who prefer to sleep just above the ground.”

Plans also include a pool, a reception building that would house a small store and dining concession, and shuttle service to Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

“So it’s really a thoughtful approach to how people can get around once they’re here.”

But not thoughtful enough for local conservation groups, who are concerned about emissions from increased traffic in the area. They’re also worried about the cumulative effect of the campground and the developer’s adjacent housing plan, which includes 760 new homes. Alexis Ollar, exectuive director of Mountain Area Preservation, explains.

“My big point about planning in general is that even though it’s an allowed use, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for the landscape.”

Ollar’s group has joined with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and Sierra Watch to push for more transparency around the proposal, and a rigorous environmental review of the plans.

The approval process for the site is likely to take 12 to 18 months and will include public comment periods and an environmental impact report.