Lakes Association reshapes itself
Posted July 15-Community Lakes Association President Nancy Willard did not mince words.
“It just doesn't make sense -- we need to have a different kind of organization,” she told members at CLA's annual meeting Saturday.
They responded by amending a key by-law to greatly increase the number of representatives on the association's advisory board, and change the manner in which they are apportioned.
The changes are part of an effort to improve CLA's ability to accomplish its missions of maintaining water quality in local ponds and lakes, promoting boating safety and the protecting wildlife.
Traditionally, the CLA's board had been made up of its officers, two representatives each from the towns of Greenwood and Woodstock, and one “representative at large.”
But that left many local lakes with no “in-person” representation.
“The way we have been,” CLA President Nancy Willard told the members, “we have four people on North Pond, but nobody from South, nobody from Indian, nobody from Twitchell.”
Nor from most of the other ponds in the nearly a dozen the association monitors.
And that's a problem, “because we need to know for sure that we have someone on each pond that is diligently on the lookout for problems that might arise,” Willard said, be it invasive plants, particularly milfoil, erosion, dangerous boating or loon harassment.
Jim Chandler, the current representative at large, agreed.
The change, he said, “would make it a much more representative organization, and we could spread out our efforts.”
Members present raised no objection, and after unanimously approving the necessary change, several volunteered to serve.
Others stepped up later, and as of Wednesday the CLA board had the following new members: Sue Curran (Shagg), Mark and Cheryl Stearns (Round), Cathy Beberian (North), Nancy Stowell White (Christopher), Richard Schneider (Indian), David Brainard (Twitchell), Alphee Tanguay (Songo), Brad Clark (Concord) and Milt Inman (Hicks and Mud). .
Only South Pond lacked a representative.
In other matters Saturday, members discussed the ongoing challenges of milfoil control and eradication, and protecting the local loon population from thoughtless boaters.
Chandler, who has headed up the organization's milfoil campaign, reviewed current efforts, which have been bolstered by a substantial Maine Milfoil Initiative Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and by a partnership with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4H Camp and Learning Center.
He was asked if he saw a possibility the milfoil could eventually be eradicated.
“I hope so,” he said, noting the increased resources now available. “I've given eight years of my life to this.”
But Williard cautioned members on ponds that currently have no known milfoil to “keep your eyes open. … it just gets away from you – it's awful.”
Members also discussed several observed instances of heedless boaters disturbing loons. Common loons are protected by both state and federal laws prohibiting the harassment of wildlife, but the problem persists.
It was suggested that perhaps the most effective way to respond to such instances is to get the boat and/or trailer numbers and report the incident to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Audubon Society in Falmouth.
It was also suggested that letters to the editor of local newspapers could help educate the public, but Indian Pond resident Pat Stewart was skeptical.
“I hate to say this, but it's not going to make any difference,” Stewart said.
“Some people just don't care. We had people on Indian Pond who were tearing around on their outboard, and I spoke to them.”
“I said, 'We have loons here.'”
And the reply from the boat operator?
“I don't care what the hell you have.”
For far more information on all these matters (including contact information for IF&W and Maine Audubon), see the CLA website: www.communitylakesassociation.org.
Or join the discussions on their Facebook page: Western-Maine-Community-Lakes-Association.