Musseling in while state dawdles

Posted
Monday, July 20

Our state heads have their heads in the sand while zebra mussels muscle in from New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

According to the 2005 Department of Conservation and Recreation report, "Rapid Response Plan for the Zebra Mussel," sited in the July 16 Eagle, the state "does not have any comprehensive legislation to control invasive species," and "it is largely up to the local authorities to protect and maintain the water resource, though the DCR does encourage the control of the invasive species." Then why is the Public Access Board, which is in control of the boat launches in the state, opposed to closing the launches to lakes such Lake Buel that are known to provide a hospitable environment to the rapid growth of zebra mussels, preventing local authorities from acting on their mandate to "protect and maintain the water resource."?

Until the state can coordinate itself on this, I urge everyone who has had a vessel of any kind, and/or any fishing equipment and/or water toys of any sort in Laurel Lake to please scrub these items thoroughly with bleach and let them dry in the sun for a week before bringing them to any other body of water.

When this invasion spreads further east, as it surely will since the state is effectively inhibiting preventative measures to contain this invasive species, watch how fast the state will wake up and cry out for federal aid demanding a "rapid response!"

PAULA M. HATCH

Great Barrington

The writer is chairman of the Lake Buel Restoration/Preservation District.


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