Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Lake communities consider controversial herbicide

lake luzerne

Lake communities around the park have been battling Eurasian milfoil infestations for decades and some are now eyeing the same herbicide that stirred controversy in Lake George.

State lawyers last week initiated an appeal of a Warren County judge’s decision to vacate a Lake George permit, calling the Adirondack Park Agency staff’s presentation of the pros and cons of the herbicide “one-sided.”

While the Lake George Association and some residents have raised concerns that there are still unanswered questions about how the herbicide ProcellaCOR EC would work in the lake, others around the park see it as a potentially efficient tool.

“The last thing I want to do as a board member or human is make the wrong decision here,” Lake Luzerne town board member Jim Niles told me last week. He is leading the town’s APA application to use the herbicide as early as June. That application is up for public comment until April 20 and is expected to go before the APA board at its May meeting.

Will any of the parkwide advocacy groups seek to slow approval of that permit, arguing APA should take more time studying the herbicide’s potential downsides? John Sheehan, spokesperson for the Adirondack Council, indicated to me the council still thinks APA should conduct a public hearing before allowing any lake community to move forward.

In dam news

The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District is moving closer to renovating one of the park’s most iconic dams, the Indian Lake Stone Dam. 

Engineers last month outlined a $7.7 million plan to strengthen the dam, improve its operability and repair decades of crumbling masonry work. Contractor bids come next and could be approved later this summer.

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

Photo at top: Lake Luzerne, by Zachary Matson

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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.

24 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    is the solution to throw poison at every problem? Does not anyone read “Silent spring?”, or research on how long these chemicals persist?? decades at minimum, they loose effectiveness because they disperse, not because they really breakdown. it slowly builds up in the enviroment for decades and centuries. DDT is still found in the fat of penguins in Antartica to this very day. where is was never used. the use of these posions are an enduring legacy that your offspring will be dealing with in 50-100 years. they pollute the very ground water and slowly build. the whole middle of the country is drinking ATRAZINE in 1-8 parts per million from constant use in corn herbicide and has been proven to be mutatgenic are 2-3 parts per million. it’s legal in the USA but banned across all of Europe.
    WE should be doing our absolute best to not put anything chemical based in the very preserve of ADK. The preserve should not be a test bed or allowed period. its supposed to be kept pristine. the milfoil should of been dealt with 30 plus years ago with manditory dipping stations to stop the spread. but not done, so now solution is to poison entire lakes, streams and rivers and effect everyone else and subject to “safe poison”. fools never learn, and we trust chemical companies? remember dioxins, DDT, PCB’s CFC’s.PFC”S were all considered safe when they came out. so believe the hype and sales pitch and spread their “$hit everywhere right??

  2. Boreas says:


    Rachel Carson was a groundbreaking communicator, but she used Nature as the canary in the coal mine. Knowing what we know today, she should have focused on HUMAN nature.

    It is all about money. Petroleum, energy, and chemical corporations are the biggest moneymakers in the world. US government representatives were purchased for a song ages ago. This is the dark legacy of lack of term limits and the free flow of cash and influence in Congress and governments around the world.

    Plastics (visible), chemicals (invisible), and atmospheric/water pollution (both) are threatening much of life on Earth – and we are paying corporations and representatives to do it so that our life is more convenient and we can support an ever-increasing world population. This is what happens when one species feels they have dominion over Nature. It only works for a little while – at least with this “thinking” species.

    • Nathan says:

      Boreas i agree %100, the profits, greed and corruption of corporate america with pay-offs, bribes and gifts with politicians lined up. There are more endangered species than not on Earth and we breed more fools like Rob above who don’t care if his grandchildren or great grand children will start being born retarded, sterile, or with cancer for starters. species in every area of earth is faultering, declining, endangered or brink of extinction. yet it’s all about solar panels and electric cars…scapegoats for an entire industry of pollution, death through better chemistry. bacteria might win yet.

      • Rob says:

        So we are going to resort to insults?? You’ve obviously still got your panties in a knot. When you get them undone let me know. We will chat then. Have a great day Nate!!!

        • Nathan says:

          Really rob , seems your the one with a wedgie, here have a bud light and show more of your true colors

          • Rob says:

            I have a wedgie?? How do you figure that? No bud light here. If I’m going to drink a bud product it is Bud heavy. Or Bass Ale. But that really is an InBev product not Anheuser Busc. No light beer. My main beer is Sierra Nevada pale ale. Or Fiddlehead. So how am I the one with the wedgie?? Trying to figure that out

  3. louis curth says:

    “All you need to know can be found right here”, says our wise editor Melissa.

    And yet, this well written piece by Zach, and the deeply concerning implications reflected among the 10 comments (ONLY 10?) it has generated, seem to reflect growing despair among the caring people trying to preserve Earth as a viable environment that can continue to sustain future life here.

    Contrast this to the article written by the Executive Director of the Local Government Review Board, which has a long anti-APA, pro-development history, about state land road mileage issues, and it has garnered 48 comments thus far.

    Am I missing something here? Hasn’t the time come to stop counting how much we can profit by adding more seating on our Titanic Earth, and start DEMANDING that the men and women whom we elected to be in charge, get to work and launch the lifeboats that will save us all???

    April 22, 2023, will be Earth Day – our 73rd Earth Day! Think about where we are now and what that means for the future…

  4. louis curth says:

    Oops I miscalculated. April 22, 2023 will be our 53rd Earth Day, not the 73rd.
    Sorry for my senior moment. Then again, maybe it was one of those pesky freudian slips that people sometimes make.

    Perhaps I was thinking back to that first Earth Day event that we organized in North Creek in 1970 – the only one held within the Adirondack Park as I recollect. The outpouring of community support it generated led a bunch of us to form to the Upper Hudson Environmental Action Committee (UHEAC) which went on to sponsor a wide variety of environmental activities for more than two decades.

    To me, the great lesson to come from Earth Day was – and still is – how people from different backgrounds, ages and values can come together to achieve common goals through tolerance, mutual respect and integrity of purpose. Such localized actions are truly the building blocks of “community” which help power successful villages, towns and counties all around the Adirondack-north country region..

    If we choose to embrace it, that same spirit of “community” also has restorative power to strengthen our faith in fairness and the rule-of-law during these perilous times when greed, inflammatory lies and pernicious political corruption threaten the very future of American democracy.

    The Almanack offers us much to think about. To repeat what Melissa said ; “All you need to know can be found right here”.

  5. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Nathan says: “is the solution to throw poison at every problem? Does not anyone read “Silent spring?”, or research on how long these chemicals persist?? decades at minimum, they loose effectiveness because they disperse, not because they really breakdown. it slowly builds up in the environment for decades and centuries. DDT is still found in the fat of penguins in Antarctica to this very day…..”

    Then Rob says: “Wow. Sit back and relax. Have a drink or 2….”

    > No Nathan! Don’t sit back and relax! Speak up! Do not let the unenlightened discourage you! I’m with you on these matters. And yes, I am familiar with “Silent Spring”, a long ago glittering voice sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of time until at last disregarded, into darkness it goes, tossed to the winds because contemporary society is stuck on plastic, on getting along with instant gratification, mere narcissistic, shallow moments not futurity…..

  6. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Nathan says: “Knowing what we know today, she should have focused on HUMAN nature.”

    > Carson knew human nature Nathan, she knew it well! Is why her deep concern for what we were doing, the poisoning of the only home we know, back then. She knew it was hopeless to strictly exert her limited energy to mindless beings!

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