Friday, May 24, 2013

Keep Tahoe Blue Redux




After I blogged on Lake Tahoe (Last Post) I received an email from the people at the "League to Save Lake Tahoe".  The person was nice and put a very articulate response together, but it was clear I upset them when I implied their "Keep Tahoe Blue" stickers may just be a money making enterprise.  I've heard that before, but was it from a reputable source and is that the truth?

I copied their response into this post (below).  I was asked not to quote this person directly - using their name, but rather to post it as coming from their organization.  That was a little curious, since this person seemed to be the "Minister of Information" over there.  However, I decided there are many legitimate reasons why someone wouldn't want their name used in this situation, so I don't really think its suspicious.  Do you find it odd?  Here's their response:

Hello Mr. Davis,

I wanted to write to you because we noticed your blog on Keep Tahoe Blue. I'm not sure if you know, but Keep Tahoe Blue is the slogan of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, a 55-year-old 501c3 nonprofit environmental advocacy organization. We issue the stickers and all the proceeds support our nonprofit work, which includes advocating for smart policy and regulation at Lake Tahoe, educating the public about how they can help, supporting volunteer programs and collaborating with other agencies to find solutions to protect the lake.

 
Because of many of our efforts over the decades to spread the word about the threats to the lake, enact policies to restrict urban sprawl and secure restoration funding, we believe we are one of the main reasons the lake is still clear today. You can learn more at http://keeptahoeblue.org/

 
Thank you for urging your readers to Keep Tahoe Blue.


Sincerely,

Amanda Royal

 
Communications consultant

League to Save Lake Tahoe
 
 
I requested to interview this person.  I wanted to ask some questions about their organization.  I haven't heard anything definite back (yet), so I decided to post my questions here.  I put a list together and included it below.   I would be interested in hearing what my readers think about this topic and my questions about "Keep Tahoe Blue".
 
1) I'm interested in knowing what percentage of the money from sticker sales goes to save the lake and what percentage goes to salaries/overhead and other expenses?  This clearly relates to your status as a non-profit organization.
 
2) There are many types of non-profit organizations.  Please define for my readers what a 501c3 non-profit is and how you fit into that category.
 
3)  My understanding is the water clarity in Lake Tahoe continues to decline, but you seem to suggest the water clarity is improving or has stabilized; due at least in part to your efforts.  You stated, "we believe we are one of the main reasons the lake is still clear today".  Do you have any empirical data to show Lake Tahoe isn't losing clarity or that it has improved/stabilized?
 
4) Why don't we hear more about your organization on the internet or the news?
 
5)  In your opinion, what are the main contributors to the decline in water clarity?
 
6) What can the average person do to help?  Can we make a difference?
 
7) Can you give us some specifics on what volunteer or community outreach programs you're involved in around the Lake Tahoe Basin?
 
I would love to hear what you think.  I have many more questions, but I don't want to post a huge list here.  It would probably be boring for my awesome readers.
 
I love Lake Tahoe and want to do everything I can to protect it.  Problem is its hard to know where to start and exactly what to do as an individual person to make a difference.  My angle is I take pictures and shoot video of the lake to show how magnificent it is and I try to get involved in education/outreach + volunteer work when I can.
 
If you have any comments or ideas, please post them below.  I hope we can all help out or do our part!  I also want to thank the "League to Save Lake Tahoe" for their response to my Blog and any future responses to my questions!  Some information can be found on their website, which is listed above in their response to me.  I was told they have a full calendar of Volunteer/Outreach/Education events this season.  Please see their website for details.  Thanks for all your comments!