Schroon Lake, July 2012
As we anxiously await Schroon Lake’s ice out – now is a good time to reflect upon what a terrific job the two guardians of our majestic body of water – The Schroon Lake Association (SLA), and the East Shore Schroon Lake Association (ESSLA) do to protect what is so precious to many of us.
Without the tireless efforts of the volunteers of each association, the future of our lake’s continued health could face uncertainty – but between the combined efforts of each, that’s a vision we hopefully won’t face.
That’s not to say we are in the clear – not by a long shot. There is a constant battle against invasive species that both associations are fighting head on.
There’s a lots to report from both the SLA and ESSLA, so we have rounded up the news from both associations for your reading pleasure.
As you will see after reading about their combined activities, every single penny goes into protecting our lake, through the removal of Eurasian Milfoil, funding a lake steward inspection programs and informing the public about our lake’s health.
First off, the SLA has a new President, Mark Granger. Welcome Mark to your new position. Read the letter he recently sent to SLA Members and friends after the jump:
Dear Members and Friends:
I am proud, humbled and energized to start my first term as President of the Schroon Lake Association on January 1. I am proud of the many accomplishments of the past 100 + years. I am humbled by the wonderful work done by many of you under the leadership of Helen Wildman. She will be a very tough act to follow. When you see Helen or any other retiring officer or board member, I hope you will thank them for their hard work and dedication.
I am energized by the many important challenges we are facing. The threats to our wonderful watershed are there and still growing. I view this as a challenge and as an opportunity.
Thanks to the volunteer efforts of many of you, the SLA has made huge strides forward. Now we must build on that solid foundation and move further towards our goals. I will need your continued help.
Here are some of our tasks:
Membership: We need to grow our membership this year in numbers and diversity. We need to encourage more participation by younger members and year ‘round residents. We need to seek out leaders who are willing to help our existing Board Members and volunteers.
Outreach to the Community: We need to make sure that everyone in our watershed knows what we do and have accomplished. We need to redouble our efforts to publicize our programs and incentives. The SLA does many wonderful things but people in our area do not know this. We need to change this. We hope to improve communication with our members and to eliminate our dependence on costly and slow snail mail. We will strive to make our website better and more interactive.
The march towards full broadband coverage for our area must go on. We will continue to strongly support this. (Editors Note: this one can be crossed off the list!)
Invasives: The Schroon Lake Watershed remains under attack by milfoil and other non-native invaders. While we have made great progress with Steve LaMere’s work and the efforts of many volunteers, we still have far to go. In addition to actual eradication, we need to prevent further spread of invasives with patrols at boat launches and scouting for new areas of infestation. The use of beetles and other potential biological agents needs to be continued and expanded. We need to also work on preventing the entry of fertilizers, salt and silt into our lakes, rivers and streams. I thank our many volunteers who have helped so far. Please keep up the great work.
We will need to continue to reach out to and work with other organizations and government entities. We need to be prepared to provide more funds and “sweat equity” to these efforts. The Towns around our lakes need our assistance and our diligence. We need to help organize and empower people of goodwill to protect our precious watershed. We will continue to work with local officials to win this fight.
Looking Forward: We need to develop a master plan for the next ten years of our organization. Now that we are 100 years old, we have to decide what our next century will require of us. This will help us create new goals for the SLA as we head towards the second decade of the 21st Century.
In the coming months I will continue to reach out to you on these and other issues. Our other officers and board members will also be in touch. I hope you will roll up your sleeves and join us in making our community better.
Mark S. Granger
From the ESSLA.
The best way to catch up on all of their news is through their new newsletter, The Pearl, .What follows is a recent update from their new Association President, Gretchen Marcell Jane Smith and her Board of Directors:
WOW, what a year! We kicked off the season with a record turn-out at our now famous pasta dinner at Jimbo’s and it just kept getting better. We rolled out the first edition of The Pearl which far exceeded our expectation. The accolades were many. Thank you to Stephen Ehlers, Editor and his amazing partners Gretchen Marcell and Vince Blando. The newsletter went out in the fall to our members and those in the Schroon Lake Park District who aren’t members just yet. If you didn’t get to see it yet you should. You can do so by going to our website www.essla.org. If you would prefer to receive your next issue via email please let me know by either responding to this email or send an email to email@example.com with The Pearl in the subject line.
Through the diligence of Bill, our Scouts, the Towns of Chester, Horicon and Schroon and Warren County Soil and Water and AIM there was a lot of milfoil removed from the lake. (AIM’s reports can be reviewed on our website)
What’s coming in 2013? We are ecstatic that the three town supervisors...Fred Monroe, Ralph Bentley and Mike Marnell put their heads (and pocketbooks) together and with Jim and Bob from Warren County Soil and Water have chosen AIM to again harvest milfoil in 2013. A three year plan should get us to maintenance mode.
We’ll be working with our friends at the Lake George Association (LGA), Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board (LCLGRPB) and the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) to put together an early detection rapid response program for Asian clams.
An SOS...Sieve Our Shores. Although we have no known infestations in Schroon Lake and River we want to be as best prepared as we can. We’ll also be working with our partners at the Adirondack Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Paul Smith’s College and Watershed Institute and the Adirondack Lake Alliance (ALA) and the other experts who help us in the protection our lake.
We are looking for folks from our membership who might be interested in becoming certified Safe Boating Instructors. Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested and I’ll forward information. We are thankful to our 579 members in good standing for their support.
And last, but not least, the Lake received an amazing Christmas Gift. This report from ESSLA's Jane Smith:
A $300,000 grant was recently awarded for the implementation of the Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan. This grant will enable us to carry out a number of the suggestions outlined in our Plan that was published in 2010. (you can review the Plan on our website www.essla.org)
The focus is to be storm water retrofit...which will help keep pollutants out of our lake and river as rain and snow run-off from our roofs, roads and other impervious pavements carry pollutants into the watershed. We also hope to implement a voluntary pump out program for septic systems near the waterways. This program has been done on many of our neighboring lakes with great participation and success. These are a few of the top priorities.
Our thanks go out to the Town of Chester for sponsoring the grant application, Warren County Soil and Water District for submitting and overseeing the grant and the Steering Committee of the Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan. The Steering Committee is representative of the Towns of Chester, Horicon and Schroon, the ESSLA and SLA lake associations, Essex and Warren County Soil and Water Districts and the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board. This group of volunteers, elected officials and professionals work together to protect and improve Schroon Lake and River.
And none of this could happen without the continued support of you, our members. Thank you for being part of the solution. We’ll keep you posted as plans are formed and ready to implement.