The Lake George Park Commission held the first of two public hearings on its draft aquatic invasive species prevention plan Tuesday afternoon. While most who attended expressed support, some are concerned about how the plan could affect boaters’ access to the lake.
The Lake George Park Commission Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention plan calls for mandatory inspection of all motorized boats before they can enter Lake George. Commission Executive Director Dave Wick says Lake George has five invasive species. In the last two years, the commission has spent more than a million and a half dollars to manage just the Asian clam infestation. Wick says the idea behind the plan is that prevention is less expensive than management.
Adirondack Mountain Club Executive Director Neil Woodworth calls Lake George the center of the battle in New York against aquatic invasive species.
Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe was at the hearing representing the Warren County Board of Supervisors’ Legislative Committee. Monroe supports the Park Commission plan because he says towns and municipalities cannot individually control invasives. He adds that beyond water quality, the economy of the region is at risk.
Monroe says the state should step up and provide money from the Environmental Protection Fund to help communities control and prevent invasive species.
The Warren County Conservation Council believes the Commission’s invasive prevention proposal is too restrictive. Jack Currie, chair of the 25-hundred member group, says, for example, the timeframe for decontamination will delay or even prevent boaters’ access. Currie presented a plan to the Warren County Board of Supervisors in December that he believes is a better template for the Park Commission.
A second public hearing on the plan is scheduled June 12th at 6 p.m. in Ticonderoga.
Commissioners are expected to vote during their July meeting on a final plan to forward to the state for approval. Implementation would not begin until at least 2014.