How should we best take care of the natural environment? It would be tough to live anywhere in the world without asking that question, and certainly not in Tahoe. Decades of heavy use and visitation make it perhaps the most poignant question to face Tahoe, and perhaps the most complex.

While we didn’t find the absolute answer to this question just yet, in this issue we shed light on the different ways people are applying what they see as their best efforts toward a sustainable Tahoe future, and report on several potential developments.

The shots continue to fire back and forth about the Squaw-Alpine gondola (see opinion piece, here), and the gondola’s alleged wilderness crossing is explained (see story, here), plus a local weighs in on the Canyon Springs project (see opinion piece, here). Additionally, the Basin’s first new proposed campground in 20 years could bring more than 500 campsites to Tahoe (see story, here) and has unsurprisingly drawn strongly mixed reviews. We also look at the off-road community (see story, here), a user group often associated with brash outdoor conduct, but also a group highly involved in serious volunteer efforts to maintain and clean roads.

The bear issue is looked at from a policy standpoint (see graphic, here), as we try to clear up confusion on a growing urban-wildlife interface issue. Lastly, our feature news story (here) looks at how some environmental nonprofits in the area are shifting their methodology away from litigious action and onto new ideas to accomplish their goals.

Phew! While it can be a safe prediction that opinions will never completely coalesce on one side or another, perhaps the lines are becoming blurred, which might be a positive. What does today’s environmental steward look like: a Jeep driver, nonprofit director, developer, or everyday citizen? Perhaps the label is becoming ever less important and the ideas behind the label are the focus.