Saturday, May 21, 2022

Lake George groups at odds over milfoil plan

lake george

The Lake George Association last week made good on its promise to explore all options for blocking the planned use of an aquatic herbicide on Lake George.

The nation’s oldest lake association – along with Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, the Town of Hague and a shoreline resident – sued Thursday to stop the herbicide plan. In its petition, the association took aim at the process that led to permit approvals by the Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency, arguing the agencies failed to consider important concerns raised by the public. The suit accuses the state agencies of “behind the scenes decision-making” to rush the plan to approval.

Lake George Park Commission head Dave Wick, though, has said the agency thoroughly vetted the herbicide, which has been used widely in other parts of the northeast.

As the case moves through the court process, it may well delay any application of the herbicide long enough to push the plan until at least next year. (If the park commission does not apply the herbicide in June, it has to wait.)

In other news, I recommend this Associated Press story from earlier this month about high hazard dams across the country. As state agencies across the country increase oversight and review of the risky dams – many 100 years or older – more are being defined under the highest-risk classification.

I’ve started to examine the many dams located in the Adirondack Park and am finding a number of places where needed repairs are inching forward – albeit slowly. Please share any tips or thoughts you might have about dams in the park.

Next week, I’m heading to Burlington for the Lake Champlain Research Conference and will try my best to keep up with scientists. Drop me a note if you are going to be there.


Photo: Lake George as seen from Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Zachary Matson.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

5 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    It is wonderful news that sanity temporarily wins in the battle against the use of a new aquatic herbicide in Lake George.The passage of time always reveals the dangers of all herbicides and claiming this herbicide is fully vetted is an absurd claim. It has mostly been “vetted” by the manufacturer and governing agencies rely upon this vetting in determining safety. Roundup is still considered safe by these agencies!

    The danger remains, however, as The Paradox Lake Association in Schroon Lake is proposing to use this same chemical to treat Eurasian Milfoil. When will we ever learn?

  2. Nathan says:

    Lake George Park Commission head Dave Wick, though, has said the agency thoroughly vetted the herbicide, which has been used widely in other parts of the northeast. JUST as DDT was widely used at one time. Poison is still poison, lets start thinking about short term and more of long term. Dave Wick go read “Silent Spring” by Racheal Carson. Then would you put this herbicide in your swimming pool and drinking water for your children, grandchildren, and the next 100 years of family!

  3. Todd Eastman says:

    The APA and the DEC seem incapable of using science to guide their decisions…

    … though required under law. 🙄

    • Boreas says:

      Think of the MONEY pushing for a quick and “tidy” resolution! APA/DEC are between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately, without science as a spine, they are just political expediters.

  4. Joan Grabe says:

    Boat inspection stations and hand harvesting have worked on Upper Saranac Lake but only under constant supervision of the Lake Manager, Guy Middleton, and his team. Lake George is much bigger, much deeper and has many local entities to navigate but I think this herbicide is a bad idea.

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