Fallen Leaf Lake: A microcosm of Lake Tahoe

TitleFallen Leaf Lake: A microcosm of Lake Tahoe
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1999
AuthorsKleppe, J. A., and Norris W. J.
Conference Name67th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 67th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1999
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSouth Lake Tahoe, California
KeywordsMicrocosm, Political problems, Social problems

This paper presents an overview of the reasons that Fallen Leaf Lake has been proposed as a microcosm of Lake Tahoe. It is postulated that the problems being faced in the Lake Tahoe Basin are social, political, economic and finally, scientific in nature. These problems are exactly the same as those being faced by Fallen Leaf Lake. Fallen Leaf Lake is shown to offer a unique opportunity to develop concepts, methods, instrumentation, monitoring approaches and complex models that will be essential to developing a long term management plan for the Lake Tahoe Basin. Air quality , water quality, aquatic systems, as well as a multitude of other complex issues can be readily studied on a smaller lake such as Fallen Leaf. The dynamics of Fallen Leafs ecosystems are quite responsive due to its small size and offers a 'real world' working modelto develop answers for the problems found in the Lake Tahoe Basin. For purposes of this paper a focus is made on the hydrological aspects of the microcosm and the development of new sensor- technology that can be extrapolated to the entire Lake Tahoe Basin.The 'bottom line' conclusion is this -if problems cannot be solved on the scale of the smaller more manageable Fallen leaf Lake, it is then highly unlikely they can be solved for the much larger Lake Tahoe.