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2020 Call for Action: Variable Leaf Milfoil Found in Utowana

In 2019 Variable Leaf Milfoil was discovered in Utowana Lake. The letter below was a call to action - one that our community answered with resounding support!

August 21, 2020

Variable Leaf Milfoil Has Reached Our Lakes!

Blue Mountain, Eagle, and Utowana Lakes need your help now!

Dear Friend of the Lakes,

We have an emergency at our doorstep that threatens the wellbeing of our beloved Eckford Chain.

Last summer our Water Watch lake stewards identified the destructive invasive plant known as variable leaf milfoil (VLF) growing as one plant in the Utowana channel near the carry. It was carefully removed. On July 4th this year, lake steward, Ava Anderson, discovered 6 large beds and other smaller plants in an area covering 1.5 acres. This is serious! Left unchecked, VLM will spread quickly to all three lakes clogging the Eckford Chain with thick beds of vegetation. It will fundamentally change how we enjoy this sacred place.

We must act now to stop the spread. Blue Mountain Lake Association (BMLA) needs your help to KEEP THE LAKES CLEAR!

The sober reality is that once milfoil exists in a lake, it's there to stay. The only course of action is to remove it and initiate a plan to control it. But, we must do so quickly. We are hiring professional divers NOW to painstakingly remove the existing milfoil and professional surveyors will conduct thorough surveys of the three lakes this fall using snorkel and scuba diving gear. We are gathering permits and a diving team is ready to start September 1.

In 2014, one milfoil plant was found in Lake Placid. Four years later, 1,000 pounds of milfoil was removed from the lake. Since then, containing the milfoil costs the Lake Placid community $70,000 annually. Urgent action is clearly needed by our community.

We have put together a $100,000 four-year plan to contain the milfoil spread, based on what we know now. The plan includes annual, professional surveys and plant removal, as needed. The estimated cost is $20,000 to $25,000 annually. The Blue Mountain Lake Fund has generously committed $50,000 in the form of a matching grant. The Fund will match donations up to $5,000 that are contributed before December 1, 2020. This is an enormous opportunity that depends on community participation. We must raise $50,000 to receive the entire matching grant in order to reach our goal of$100,000 which should provide us with the ability to contain the spread of milfoil.

Would you please consider making a generous gift so Blue Mountain, Eagle and Utowana Lakes stay pristine? If you are able, please consider a gift of $1,000 to $5,000 by the end of the summer. If this is above your means we need and appreciate any gift you can make. With the generous support of the Blue Mountain Lake Fund your gift will be doubled.

Thank you for caring and for being part of our special community. We are deeply grateful for your support. Please be in touch if you have questions or comments and please share this appeal with your family and friends who also love the lakes.

Our best,

Paul Monroe and Mary Lynne Heldmann


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