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South Tahoe among cities uniting for 'Pledge for the Wild' campaign

South Tahoe
South Tahoe is one of five cities uniting for "Pledge for the Wild." (Chris Murray/NSN)

South Lake Tahoe is one of five western mountain towns uniting to launch a conservation program called "Pledge for the Wild" aimed at making it easier for tourists to help maintain beautiful spaces in their cities.

The other towns joining South Tahoe are Bend, Ore., Bozeman, Mont., Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Flagstaff, Ariz. They want to empower travelers to help protect the outdoor places where they recreate. Each city has has taken stock of which land mangers and nonprofits are working to protect wild spaces in their communities.

"Pledge for the Wild will provide opportunities to give back, whether they're checking into a hotel, renting gear at a bike shop or sitting down at a brewery," Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority CEO Carol Chaplin said in a news release. "The idea is to catch them when they're out enjoying local amenities and to get them thinking about ways to support the great outdoors they've experienced on their vacation."

South Tahoe is using Tahoe Fund's new Environmental Venture Trust to support the project. It will provide seed funding for a variety of innovative early-stage environmental projects to help solve environmental challenges faces Lake Tahoe. Their first investment is the UV Light Pilot Project that's analyzing the use of UV light to treat aquatic invasive weeds in Lake Tahoe.

Agencies recommend outdoor enthusiastic consider donating $1 per hour of recreation. For instance, a three-hour hike, mountain bike ride or skiing adventure would result in a $3 investment. Donations can be made via cell phones by texting WILD4TAHOE to 44-321 as well as online at TahoeFund.org. All funds raised will be used for local projects.

“Participating cities are not only committing to helping visitors do no harm when recreating, we’re providing ways for them to actively protect those wild places,” Visit Bend President and CEO Kevney Dugan said in a news release. “Initiatives will range from breweries offering reusable coasters with Pledge for the Wild messaging, to multiple touchpoints prompting visitors to donate and support local conservation groups.”

To learn more about Pledge for the Wild, visit PledgeWild.com.

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