Bear Lake Improvement Board Scheduled Milfoil Treatment June 23, 2014

The Bear Lake Improvement Board (BLIB) plans to treat about 10 acres of eurasianwater milfoil in Bear Lake on June 23, 2014 if the weather permits.
The Bear Lake Improvement Board (BLIB) is a legal body established in late 2007 under Michigan Public Act 451, Part 309.  It operates separate from the Greater Bear Watershed dealing with non-native invasive species which is a typical element in watershed plans.  The BLIB has been in need of a vehicle to inform the Bear Lake community of treatment dates and we offered to send this email to our email list.  We hope you agree this is the type of notice you want and need.

The following basic approach has been consistently employed by the BLIB since it’s inception:
– At the beginning of the new year, the LIB requests bids from contractors to treat eurasianwater milfoil in the summer.
– In late spring when the temperatures warm and eurasianwater milfoil begins to grow, the consultant determines by GPS where the milfoil is located and the density by location.
– In early summer the consultant goes with the contractor selected by the LIB to monitor the location and manner the treatment is made.
– In late summer, the consultant determines the impact of the treatment and whether selected locations require a second treatment.
– In late summer, the BLIB reviews current year costs to determine the amount per unit that is to be assessed on the winter tax bills for each parcel in the special assessment district.  The assessment is basically for those parcels that have direct access to Bear Lake.
– Payment of the assessment on winter tax bills provides funds to pay for the next year’s treatment, consultant and any legal fees.

Results using this consistent approach have been excellent.  There were 330 acres of eurasianwater milfoil when the first treatment was made in 2008.  At the beginning of 2009, there were only 11 acres with milfoil.  At the end of the summer of 2009, there was no milfoil evident in the lake.  Milfoil is never eradicated.  It has to be continually controlled.  Seeds lie dormant in the lakebed for years.  One never knows when or how much seed germination will occur.  The number of acres treated since 2009 has generally been less than 20 with the exception of 2012 when it spiked to about 80 acres with an extremely warm summer.

The assessed amount per unit of about $670 for the first tax year was very high because of the cost to get the lake under control with about 330 acres of milfoil.  Since then, annual assessments per unit have been $50-$100.

The number of acres treated in the first year of 2008 was about twice as much as the total number of acres treated for the last five years from 2009 to 2013.

For more detail about the Bear Lake Improvement Board, go to their website: http://www.bearlakeimprovement.org.

Information regarding the BLIB is also on our Greater Bear Watershed website:  http://www.bearwaters.org.  Go the Action Reports tab > Goal Action Reports page, item 4A – Control Eurasian Water Milfoil.

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