US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Unit Celebrates the Completion Of New Observation Deck Made Possible in Partnership With Local Leadership
Sierra Rec Magazine ~ South Lake Tahoe , October 6, 2016 – The USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Unit celebrated with community leaders from around Lake Tahoe the grand opening of the Taylor Creek observation deck Thursday with a ribbon cutting and community Q&A from the new redwood deck. A project funded by community support which raised 25,000 and was donated /presented by Amy Berry of Tahoe Fund, Matt Levitt of Tahoe Blue Vodka and several other key community leaders at the ribbon cutting event.
The Taylor Creek area will celebrate the Fall Festival this weekend as the Kokanee Salmon are running up the creek now and the local bears have made their way back to feast on the annual migration. Thursday was filled with excitement as hundreds of school children were being lead by the team at Taylor Creek Visitors Station. Kids were filled with joy as they bounced over the sidewalks and new observation deck, “did you see the duck go after those fish” ” I Like the big red one best!” “why are all the fish in the deep part all together?” Questions and child enthusiasm was abundant as the leaders from Lake Tahoe Basin Unit showcased to supporters, media and guests the new deck which features a great new design, elevated off the creek just North of the under water exhibit.
The new deck and new signs were needed after years of wear and tear and then extreme flooding from last winters snow. The generous donations from organizations such as Tahoe Blue and the Tahoe Fund also helped ensure that this Tahoe tradition continues safely for guests and wildlife for years to come. Two years ago the staff at Lake Tahoe Basin almost had to close the Taylor creek area because guests were getting too comfortable with the bear selfies, causing extremely dangerous situations and often destroying vegetation crucial to the areas health while trying to get close to the bears.
The New observation deck provides a safe place for mass viewing, elevated to allow flood waters to spread normally on the shores and to allow wildlife safe passage around the area away from guest foot traffic.
We were able to spend most of the day out at Taylor Creek Thursday, taking in the Salmon, the wildlife, the fall colors and yes we were looking for bears. I took a great walk up the creek about a mile to the dam at Fallen Leaf lake. The fall colors at Taylor Creek are popping along the trail and salmon are spread out up the creek almost to the dam. Fallen Leaf lake is a great spot for a lunch break and a quite fall day.
The afternoon brought a great photo opp with a Blue heron perched just across the creek from the new observation deck. But at last no bear for us today. I loved the new deck, and believe guests will appreciate the new designed area. I heard many commits about the new signs which seemed to be appreciated. Saturday and Sunday are going to be busy at the creek but the new deck looks like it will give guests a great vantage point of the Salmon and maybe a bear or two.
The Kokanee Salmon of course are not a native fish to the region, accidentally introduced to Lake Tahoe in the late 1940’s the Salmon have made Taylor Creek home for years as it is the most reliable creek for constant flow as it drains from Fallen Leaf Lake dam. The bears in the Sierra have learned to feast on the Salmon as it is also not a natural part of the bears heritage. The mix along with the great fall colors in the area and the annual Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson, make this area a must see stop every October.
If you take a trip out this fall take a moment to remember the local leadership in the region that are working hard to support and fund our local treasures such as Taylor Creek.
Additional images of our day at Taylor Creek