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Legal Name of Organization: Sustainable Tahoe
Mailing Address: PO 3206
City, State, Zip: Incline Village
Executive Director: Jacquie Chandler
Phone: 775 846-1715 cell: 775 287-3982 Email: email@example.com
Tax ID# 38-3815121
State of Incorporation: NV
To Accelerate the adoption if Stewardship by Connecting, Facilitating, and
Promoting Models of Sustainability in the Tahoe Truckee Watershed.
Geographic Region Served:
Lake Tahoe Headwaters to Pyramid Lake (including all the rural communities
in the Tahoe/Truckee Watershed)
The problem we are trying to solve
The 1960's auto-centric 2-season visitor model has run its course, by lacking a deeply engaging
visitor experience while requiring Billions in ongoing restoration and mitigation required when
actions degrade the pristine environment.
UC Davis and Dr Goldman's 50 years of research has shown that human behavior in recreation,
transportation and construction patterns are the key contributors to the degradation of the water
quality. Reference: 2010 State of the Lake Report www.TERC.UCdavis.edu/stateof the
"Last ten years it cost $1.4Billion to clean up after ourselves. It will cost $2.45B for the next ten
years" 2010 TRPA Environmental Improvement Program www.conservationclearly.org
There are 2 states, 6 counties, numerous city and governmental agencies, NGO's and businesses all
working individually and often at odds with one another. The 2010 Prosperity Plan provides a
prescription for collaboration in 3 economic clusters. In the Sustainable Tourism Cluster,
Sustainable Tahoe is identified as a key contributor in implementing this segment.
The solution we provide
Sustainable Tahoe, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is fostering behaviors conducive to creating a
sustainable, prosperous and compassionate economy in the Lake Tahoe watershed. We do this with
community outreach, collaborative action and encouraging hands-on participation in activities that
result in shifting behavior towards stewardship.
In order to return the water quality of Lake Tahoe to pre-1960 conditions, we need agencies,
businesses, non-profits, residents and visitors to collaborate in geotourism campaigns.
TAHOE GEOTOURISM EXPO
A tangible experience of a geotourism model of sustainability and stewardship. 150-mile regional two-
day demonstration is designed around the 12 geotourism principles as specified by National Geographic
Center for Sustainable Destinations (NGCSD). Increasing ‘Visitor Satisfaction’ via sustainable tourism
models (geotourism) is in the “high priority action” section of the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan
(LTBPP) Final Report (pg. 57-79).
The Tahoe Expo is a region-wide (150 mile) open house of Tahoe's sustainable successes configured as
tourist friendly "Geotours" or “GeoTracks” : guided adventures that must meet three criteria: Fun,
Meaningful (educational), and Low Carbon.
Unlike traditional fairs, festivals, Tahoe Expo demonstrates the feasibility of building a community
owned tourism menu using Trinomics™ : a collaborative model designed by Sheri Woodsgreen CEO of
One Globe Corporation.
The potential of the Tahoe Expo is to define Tahoe’s 21st
Century brand. Sustainable Tahoe operates in
the background as a facilitator, rainmaker and clearing house for recasting Tahoe and the rural regions
assets that already exist into potential geotourism attractions.
1. Geotourism Implementation Framework (GIF): a template guiding destinations as to how to implement
practices and components required to deploy sustainable geotourism. This includes: a geotourism
that teaches the 12 geotourism principles. Our use of TriNomics ™ provides a collaborative guide for
building GeoTracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ua1rRc5gHw
People who used our programs and services in 2013
750-1000 directly serviced by the Tahoe Expo
1,000 through public demonstrations and presentations to local groups, business, clubs, etc
5,600 through social media that provides interaction with fans and followers
1,000 in alliance and partner events ie: Guitarfish, Stone Bear, El Dorado County, hospitality education.
25 newly developed collaborative relationships.
How our impact compares to organizations offering similar programs and
Geotourism is an international strategy endorsed by five departments of the US Department of the
The Prosperity Plan. http://www.slideshare.net/jacquiechandler/lake-tahoe-prosperity-plan-36661230
has identified a Visitor Satisfaction cluster to address the needs of visitors that serve the environment
and the economy – geotourism
There are over 20 US destinations actively working to implement this strategy. We have been working
and mentoring with the first three to embrace this strategy in America: Gloria Bruce of Northeast
Kingdom , John Cartwright of Appalachians and Steve Thompson from Crown of the Continent.
Sierra Business Council is chartered with regional responsibility for the length of the Sierra and offers
information and services to educate people about geotourism assets.
We facilitate to build alliances and create the open space for these alliances to form but our
relationships are largely local. Our level of geotourism expertise is from producing the 150-mile
geotourism exposition of stewardship which requires the collaboration of 55 to 85 NGO's, Agencies and
Our strongest asset is our relationship building, especially in the area of our native indigenous people of
the Washoe and Paiute tribes. Their 10,000 years of stewardship is essential to geotourism becoming a
reality at the lake. To our knowledge, no other organization at Lake Tahoe has made and encourage this
link trying to bring native culture and history forward as strongly as Sustainable Tahoe. Members of the
Washoe tribe have participated in every public event Sustainable Tahoe has sponsored and are partners
with us in advocating for geotourism and the message of stewardship. We believe it is of utmost
importance that their presence and story be central the recovery of Lake Tahoe.
Resource and challenges
Volunteers and sponsors keep the momentum going. We recruit the most volunteers and sponsors
around the Expo (30-50 per Expo). Ormat Technologies, one of the largest geothermal companies in the
world, based in Reno provided operational funding in 2012.
We received a $50,000 grant in Google AdWords. WaiSUP Boars donated SUP Boards to support
GeoTracks and funding efforts. Vapur provided us reusable Vapur bottles. Pure Vida has created a
special Sustainable tahoe bracelet that provides $1 donation for every $5 bracelet sold. Our Facebook
page is an interactive clearing house for local conservation efforts and events that support the lake.
Sustainable Tahoe's role is not to overlap or compete with the existing tourist/ecological infrastructure
and missions, but to build alliances and encourage ways to demonstrate sustainable geotourism success
stories. Groups working on behalf of the lake work in isolation and sometimes at cross purposes with
one another. As the heyday of federal largesse ends and more groups compete for dwindling dollars,
competition drives more agendas than collaboration.
Sustainable Tahoe's challenge is educating key players to understand the benefits of contributing effort
and dollars towards the Tahoe Expo which is a community venue demonstrating collaboration on a scale
beyond what other public events attempt. Reliable support is hard to achieve until enough potential
resources understand how Tahoe Expo is an investment to introduce a sustainable 4-season economy.
How we use information from others to inform programs/services
1. Learn from others. Gloria Bruce from the Northeast Kingdom was an early mentor guiding us on how
geotourism works, what it really is and how to emerge it. The Northeast Kingdom shares similar assets
and challenges – high end resort and rural farming. They realized that the key is to ask “what do you
love and not want to lose and what is one thing you are willing to do?”. This shifted focus from
competing to collaborating around highlighting unique assets that attracted visitors to stay longer,
explore more, return sooner and share new exciting stories.
2. Work with sustainability experts. David Hansen, (a Sustainable Tahoe founder), helped Embassy Suites
save $400K in the year they implemented energy monitoring, composting and other measures in
sustainability. David shared this turn-around model at our 2010 Stewardship Congress to raise
awareness and motivate others to lead-by-example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s88FsFkdU8
3. Collaboration with Education. We created an accredited collaboration between with Embassy Suites
and Sierra Nevada College. Students designed a pilot program of geotourism adventures the resort
could further develop into tour packages to increase shoulder season revenue.
We’ve collaborated with Dr Susan Ross at SJSU to guide her 50 San Jose State University students in how
to design geotourism adventures they would like to experience. Here is an example of what was
4. Board Retreats to revisit and refine our mission, goals, objectives and measurements of success.
Sustainable Tahoe current configuration and staffing is adequate for continuing as we have been, but
not ready to power us to the next stage. Sustainable Tahoe is preparing to become more stable, more
pro-active and more effective as new leadership asserts itself.
We are in communication with National Geographic’s geotourism dept and the US Department of
Interior with reports on our progress and how we might work more closely to further the mission.
5. Geotourism Implementation Framework (GIF) outlines best practices for adoption and deployment of
geotourism. Our region- wide database identifies local sustainable organizations, businesses, and
agencies. We collaborate with the representatives of these organizations for more innovative ways to
promote what they do in the context of geotourism.
Our Executive Director attends regular meetings with regional agencies and organizations such as the
Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative (LTSC), Tahoe Transportation District (TTD), and through our
advisory board and board we are kept apprised of developments in TRPA and the Tahoe Resource
Conservation District (TRCD).
Additionally, we work and partner with organizations that range from small Tahoe businesses such as
Elevated Fitness (first Carbon neutral fitness center in the US) through Bike the West (Tour De Tahoe
and America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride) though large businesses like the (former) Embassy Suites and
Sierra Nevada College. We work and have consulted with El Dorado County Supervisor Chair Norma
Santiago, and have a close working relationship with City of Lake Tahoe Parks Director Lauren
Our planning process
Our bi-weekly or weekly meetings with volunteers and quarterly board retreats gather momentum to
execute on key initiatives. These meetings are where we design, review and/or implement our Strategic
Plan. Our annual Tahoe Expo is produced by interns, volunteers and many facets of the community.
Our hands-on Board focus on the overriding goals of the organization and collaboratively leverage
strengths and associations in the community to ensure our success. Each board member is active in
promoting our mission.
Collaboration: Our philosophy and example of collaborative successes
Each Tahoe Expo is a proof point in the ability of our diverse region to collaborate. Tahoe Expo
collaborates; GOV, . ORG and .COM to showcase fun, meaningful, and low carbon adventures.
Non-Profit / .Org: Local experts guide Geotours to enrich understanding
Agencies/ .Gov: provide grants & access to sensitive and remote areas
Business/.Com: sponsor + ‘eat, sleep, shop’, gear & transit (reduced VMT’s )
In 2010 we were honored by Senator Reid for holding the first ever "Stewardship Congress". In many
cases for the first time, people representing various conservation and stewardship efforts (the Washoe
opened the event) came together to learn, share and transform their projects into geotourism visitor
adventures for the 2011 Tahoe Expo.
Geotourism was further confirmed and endorsed by Al Gore at the 2013 Tahoe Executive Summit when
he said, " the future will look at this Lake and either ask, " Why didn’t you do something?....or "How did
you do this?" And if we succeed in protecting Lake Tahoe our answer will be because we found a way to
make political collaboration a renewable resource"
If we, as a watershed, cannot learn to work together on the serious issue that we and future generations
all share, then nothing will change and the treasure that is the pristine Lake Tahoe will be lost to us all.