State Milfoil Issues
Creating Awareness of Funding Issues
Controlling the spread of destructive variable milfoil isn’t just an Ossipee Lake issue. Milfoil infestation is a long-term state environmental threat with important implications for tourism and property values. Yet Concord legislators have repeatedly failed to create a sustainable, equitable plan to pay the cost of containing milfoil once it has invaded a body of water. Ossipee Lake Alliance has been at the forefront of creating awareness of this issue.
We funded the first-ever statewide accounting of what Concord pays for milfoil control, which revealed that more than 80 percent of the costs are being paid by lake property owners and their communities rather than by the state. Moreover, almost a third of infested lakes have no milfoil control plan at all.
As part of a coalition of lake associations we encouraged and supported HB 292, legislation that went into effect in 2015 to increase boat registration fees by $2 for the specific purpose of helping pay to control invasive aquatic weeds in state lakes and rivers. We will continue to encourage such efforts and report on their progress.
NH Legislature Exotic Aquatic Weeds & Species Committee
The Exotic Aquatic Weeds and Species Committee was established in 2004 by the NH Legislature (RSA 487:30) with a charter to: (a) study the spread of exotic aquatic weeds and exotic aquatic species in the waters of New Hampshire including education, management, and potential means to eliminate the spread of these weeds and species; and (b) aid the Department of Environmental Services in the control and eradication of milfoil. The Committee is composed of five members of the NH House of Representatives, who are appointed by the Speaker of the House; one member of the Senate and two public members, who are appointed by the President of the Senate; and one member appointed by the NH Lakes Association. It reports its recommendations for proposed legislation to the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, and the Governor.