Experienced. Cost‑effective. Responsive. Woman-owned.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Region

Our Tahoe Basin experience includes preparation of environmental documents, cultural resources surveys, and interpretive signage.

California Department of General Services

Upper Truckee River and Marsh Restoration Project

For this project on the largest river draining into Lake Tahoe, restoration of wetlands and the stream channel required significant planning, environmental review, and permitting. Charlane Gross evaded local wildlife while conducting archaeological surveys, and Lorrie Jo Williams prepared public outreach and interpretive materials.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Regional Plan Update

Debra Lilly was involved in early development of alternatives for analysis in the update to NEPA’s guiding regulatory framework. Later, as a subconsultant to Ascent Environmental, GrassRoots provided technical editing and document production services for several iterations of the EIS.

Lake Tahoe Shorezone Ordinance Amendments

Lake Tahoe PierBefore forming GrassRoots, Ms. Lilly managed the team preparing a Supplemental Draft EIS and Final EIS for NEPA’s Lake Tahoe Shorezone Ordinance amendments; Charlane Gross evaluated impacts on archaeological resources and Native American sites.

Analysis focused on environmental effects of policy-level regulatory changes for piers, buoys, and other lakeshore structures. The team prepared responses to a large number of public comments and evaluated a modified alternative for consistency with the environmental analysis already provided.

East West Partners

Northstar-at-Tahoe Expansion Projects Archaeological Surveys

Between 2000 and 2011, Northstar-at-Tahoe planned and constructed significant enhancements to commercial, recreational, and residential facilities on 1,800 acres of mountainsides, meadows, and woodlands overlooking Lake Tahoe.

More than 20 individual studies, including a major baseline survey conducted in 2000, have guided Northstar’s development activities and contributed to the continued preservation of significant cultural sites. Numerous archaeological sites were documented on Northstar property, including late 19th century logging camps and improvised logging chutes.

Additional Tahoe Projects

Project Tasks

  • EIS under TRPA’s Code of Ordinances
  • Presentations at Advisory Planning Commission and Governing Board meetings
  • Coordination with stakeholders and community groups

An Unexpected Encounter

According to Ms. Gross, the California black bear (Ursus americanus californiensis) that appeared 50 feet from her was in fact reddish brown, not black.

A not-so-black bear




Basque Carvings

The Basque came to California for the Gold Rush, but afterwards some of the men turned to traditional occupations like sheepherding. Herds were driven into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to graze and, to pass time during long, dull summers, some of the shepherds made carvings on aspen trees.

Not many survive since aspens generally don’t live for more than 100 years, but curious hikers in the Lake Tahoe basin can still see trees with dates, names, and pictures in the aspen groves.

Basque carving of a deer on an Aspen tree