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Stop taking baby steps with milfoil

April 22, 2010
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

    President Mark Wilson of the Shore Owners Association (SOA) of Lake Placid was certainly more diplomatic than I would have been by saying the invasive species meeting with experts, representatives from several watershed groups and the village Board of Trustees was “very productive.”

    He has been apprising the board since July 2009 of the milfoil problem in Paradox Bay and the potential problem to all of Placid Lake. The latest meeting was perhaps the seventh time he had faced the village board, asking for help.

    Reading the April 2 article in the Lake Placid News, “LP village plans for invasives; boat launch discussed,” gives me the impression that nothing concrete will be done. Mayor Randall’s comment, “I think that what we are looking at here is going to be baby steps moving forward,” is most disturbing. “Baby steps” will just not hack it. We need community leadership. Decisions must be made and made fast.

    While the board is “outlining the range of options,” milfoil and other invasives will quietly enter our lake at the village launch site.

    “It (lake protection) should be a community decision,” stated Tyler Smith of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program. Sure, it should be, and our community leadership must assume this responsibility now.

    The Shore Owners’ Association has shouldered the financial burden for nearly two decades of lake stewards at the DEC launch site. Working with the Paul Smith’s College Watershed Stewardship Program, the SOA shells out between $18,000 and $24,000 annually to supply stewards. Not only that, but the SOA paid to have the milfoil removed last summer in Paradox Bay, not a cheap undertaking.

    Prevention is so much more cost effective than remediation!

    If the SOA had ignored the milfoil, it would have been more widespread than Paradox Bay and financially unfeasible to harvest.

    Our lake is one of the cleanest in the Adirondacks. This attribute could also be its death as watercraft from already-infested lakes want to enjoy Placid Lake’s reputation. Trapped water in livewells, bilges and engines, as well as invasives stuck to trailers, are a perfect way of spreading invasives from one lake to another.

    If we take “baby steps,” we may soon have a mucky lake filled with weeds, i.e. a “productive” lake. It is we who must be productive instead.

Linda Friedlander

Lake Placid



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