Volunteers are the key
There’s a lot of positive energy being spent in the fight to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the North Woods, as town lake groups and lake associations champion the cause for education, prevention and treatment of existing infestations.
Protecting these incredible water resources from exotic plants and animals might be considered a no-brainer, but the work wouldn’t get done without a grassroots effort that relies on passionate volunteers. They are true conservationists, serving on the front lines to get the work done, to find the grant dollars and to inspire others.
As an example, the Unified Lower Eagle River Chain of Lakes Commission recently completed chemical treatment on 34 acres of Eurasian water milfoil, the seventh consecutive year for treatment and one of the most successful control efforts in the North Woods.
We think it’s a big deal because the Eagle River Chain is so popular with boaters, skiers and anglers that it presents an enormous challenge in preventing the spread of invasive milfoil to other waterbodies.
With quality rentals, condominiums and other commercial properties in abundance, the Eagle River Chain is a very busy place. It also has a sizeable number of landings that give boaters easy access for a day on the water. That is all the more reason for aggressive management and control, to keep milfoil from leaving the Chain.
Lake associations in other towns, from Three Lakes to St. Germain and further north to Land O’ Lakes and Phelps, are coordinating the Clean Boats Clean Waters inspection programs on many lakes. Additionally, they have teams of people monitoring lake vegetation to ensure that any discovery of AIS prompts a quick response.
Because of these efforts, more than 90% of boaters say they are aware of state laws that prohibit transportation of aquatic vegetation on any boat or trailer, and mandate the draining of all water at the boat landing. For all that work, we thank the volunteers.
The greater Eagle River community showed its heart once again last weekend, entertaining 66 special anglers during the 21st annual Fishing Has No Boundaries event on the Eagle River Chain.
It is because of the work of about 90 volunteers that people with disabilities have a chance to enjoy the camaraderie, excitement and outdoor splendor that goes with the sport of fishing.
Not enough can be said about the donors who came up with 17 pontoon boats and five other fishing boats to help accommodate the participants, ages 18 to 88. It is one of the largest events of its kind in the country.
The turnout is a testament to the volunteers who plan and run this educational and compassionate event, sharing their time, their friendship and their love of fishing. We tip our caps to this nonprofit organization and all of its sponsors and volunteers.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:21 AM|