Throughout the years, our architect firm at Lake Tahoe has enjoyed endless opportunities to enjoy our ‘down-time’ throughout the Basin and beyond. Some of our favorite memories are hiking, biking, and exploring the endless forests that wrap in and around the High Sierra. And within those years, we have learned to treasure every moment.
Fortunately for those of us who live, work, and play throughout the Sierra, there are many organizations watching over our ‘backyard’ with some of the world’s most innovative environmental technology.
Just last fall, the Tahoe Fund secured a grant from Smartest Forest Fund to purchase a new tool called Land Tender. It is a cloud-based planning and monitoring tool this is now assessing the health of our forests throughout the Lake’s 500-square-mile watershed basin. The details acquired through Land Tender can then predict the need and timing for improving our forests’ health.
Remote sensing, machine learning and artificial intelligence also enable land managers to continuously monitor project progress, and then shift priorities and resources based on evolving conditions and threats.
This new state-of-the-art tracking system is in collaboration with an exceptional list of partners that includes Basin land managers, fire districts, the California Tahoe Conservancy and other key personnel.
In a recent press release within TahoeFund.org, we learned more about this project.
“The Caldor Fire made it into the Lake Tahoe Basin, and we narrowly averted catastrophe in part because of proactive fire prevention and forest health projects,” said Tahoe Fund CEO Amy Berry. “Land Tender is a unique tool that can help communities like ours dramatically speed up the timeline of critical forest management projects—some of which have previously taken up to 10 years to plan and execute. This is exactly the type of project we started our ‘Smartest Forest Fund’ to help accomplish.”
“We are facing concurrent climate, wildfire, biodiversity, water and health crises that cross jurisdictions and affect each and every one of us. Our future depends on how quickly we adapt, cooperate and take action. With Land Tender, we can harness the best science, technology and data to protect and restore forests. We can mitigate risk, quickly and at scale,” said Allison Wolff, CEO of Vibrant Planet, the creator of Land Tender.
Land Tender was the first innovation of Vibrant Planet. According to their website, their goal is to help planners and policymakers save lives, avoid trillions of dollars in infrastructure loss and restore the ability of natural systems to store carbo, deliver clean water, and support local economies and recreational habits.
Land Tender was designed with significant input from land managers, emergency responders, scientists, and local and regional policy and decision-makers. It was built by a team of seasoned technology, ecology and forest management leaders with decades of collective experience at the U.S. Forest Service, Lyft, Netflix, Guidewire, Facebook, and Omidyar Network.
In closing, it is reassuring to know that some of the world’s most educated and experienced experts in land management care enough about our region to push their collative talents to keep our treasured region healthy and thriving in years to come. And we thank them for their efforts.
James P. Borelli
Lake Tahoe / Truckee