Archive for the ‘LFA Business’ Category

Chemicals in Lake Fairlee — A Hard Decision

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

[ the following is the text of an announcement of our upcoming meeting ]

Meeting – 7:00 pm, Monday August 31st – at Ohana Camp

(formerly Lake Fairlee Camp on Quinibeck Road)

The Lake Fairlee Association has decided that our milfoil control program is no longer adequate to its task, and that the future health of Lake Fairlee requires a new approach. After review of the alternatives available, and after discussion with the Vermont DEC, the Lake Fairlee Association board has decided to begin the process leading to the use of an herbicide on the milfoil next summer.

Why now?

  • The milfoil has spread so much, in spite of our strenuous mechanical control program, that we are no longer able to keep it under control.
  • Since our informational meeting last month public opinion around the lake has been strongly in favor of using chemicals.
  • Some of our most generous donors, upon whom our program largely depends, have decreased or completely withheld support unless and until we change course.
  • Others who have never supported our milfoil efforts have promised to contribute in the future if we add the use of herbicides to our overall program.
  • Many who argue against the use of chemicals have never contributed to our dive program.

The safety of the process, and of the particular chemical used, continues to be of paramount importance.  The information we have received from the State scientists and others indicate that, if used properly, this herbicide is safe and effective.  We invite a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the risks, known and unknown, and an analysis weighing these risks with the costs of not proceeding and the benefits of doing so.

We believe that the engagement and support of the community is essential.  Towards that end we are holding another meeting to help residents and lake users fully understand our decision to employ this measure at this time.  We plan to have additional opportunities for discussion as the process unfolds.  Representatives from the company we select to do the treatment will be invited, as will scientists from the State DEC.

Please attend this meeting and join us in supporting Lake Fairlee.

Annual Meeting and Barbecue – 2008

Monday, July 14th, 2008

On Saturday, July 12th, more than 100 members of the Lake Fairlee Association gathered at Horizons Day Camp on a sunny and warm late afternoon.  We started socially and informally, with wine and gossip on the porch.

Dinner followed, catered by Bare Bones Catering (thank you, Crystal!) and then a pleasantly succinct business meeting.  President Suzy Kerr chaired the meeting, and in short order we elected new Trustees AJ Kemon and Donna Walter. Libby Chapin reported on the status of the Greeter Program, and Skip Brown spoke about the milfoil.  He first acknowledged Tofer Sharp for his work leading the milfoil effort in past years, then introduced three of the divers who were present.  Finally Treasurer Ridge Satterthwaite reported on the Association’s finances and warned us of the need for additional donations if we are to keep the divers working through September.

Our first guest speaker was our own Dale Gephart,  a lake resident and amateur naturalist. (He is also a physician and teacher)  Dale shared his unique view of the lake as a complex living system, and told us about interesting plant and animal species he has observed while swimming near his shoreline armed only with a mask.  He emphasized the importance of sustaining the diversity of species in our lake, and the part that each of us can play as responsible stewards.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening was a presentation by Ben Kilham, a resident of nearby Lyme, and nationally recognized expert on Black Bears.  Ben spoke at length about  his experience raising black bears from cubs and releasing and following them in the wild.  He is a talented photographer as well as a naturalist (and a gunsmith, it happens) and he illustrated his talk with remarkable “slides” of his favorite cubs in their natural environment.  He said that he gets alongwith bears better than with people; we are glad that he came to speak to us anyway.

Special thanks to AJ Kemon for organizing the whole evening, and Donna Walter for managing the sign in table and accounting for the dues and dinner fees.  Thanks also to the Aloha Foundation for letting us use the facility.

Dale Gephart and Skip Brown prepared an information sheet which was distributed at the meeting.  It contains some facts about the health of Lake Fairlee and about our program of milfoil eradication.  You can read it HERE.

Year End Finances

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

The milfoil program costs have been paid, and we have compiled what will probably remain the final budget figures for 2007. We finished the year with (a little) money in the bank, and without having to go into debt. We had to let our divers go a week or two earlier than we would have liked, due to budget constraints. Nonetheless we had a productive season fighting the good fight to keep the milfoil at bay.

In a spirit of transparency we want to let you know where the money comes from and where it goes.

  • Income
    • $44,864 Income from the State of Vermont
    • $10,000 Income from municipalities
    • $53,143 Income from memberships, donations, and events
  • $108,007
  • Expenses
    • $89,872 Divers’ salaries and taxes
    • $7,684 Dive program costs: air, gas, repairs, supplies, etc.
    • $4,579 Insurance (liability and workers’ compensation)
    • $3,529 Other: office supplies, postage, PO Box rental, etc.
  • $105,664

Our operating surplus for 2007 was $2343.

What your contributions and tax dollars bought:

  • 2866 Divers’ “Catch Bags” full of hand picked milfoil (just more than 1 cu. ft. each)
  • 2100 cu. ft. of suction harvested milfoil (more densely packed)
  • 150+ logged hours of volunteers hand pulling milfoil
  • 193 sheets (6’x100′) of bottom barrier in place — about 2.0 acres with overlap

On behalf of all of us who share an interest in preserving the natural beauty and economic vitality of Lake Fairlee, we thank you for your support.

Annual Meeting of the Lake Fairlee Association

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

View from the LodgeOn Saturday, July 14th, the Lake Fairlee Association held its annual dinner and meeting. The location was a new one for us this year, porch2 the lodge of the former Lake Fairlee Camp, with a commanding view across the south end of the lake. A complete reconstruction of the lodge is in its final stages, and we are grateful to the Aloha Foundation for generously allowing us to meet there.

porch1Attendance was up this year, to over 110 attendees. dinner Early arrivals engaged in spirited conversation over cocktails on the porch.

Dinner was barbecued chicken with all the fixings, and this year there was more than enough food!

After dinner our new president elect, Susie Kerr, moved the agenda briskly along. We heard a report from dinnerGreg McGrath of Lake Morey about their early success treating portions of their lake with the herbicide Renovate. Skip Brown introduced some of our dive crew and explained something about their work to eradicate milfoil. Treasurer Ridge Slatterthwaite reported on the Association’s finances, and explained how the State of Vermont’s grant this year will be reduced by over a third from last year’s amount. Suzy also introduced several new arrivals to the lake who were in attendance. After some general questions and discussion the meeting was adjourned.