Alliance and Selectmen to Host Milfoil Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Freedom — September 30, 2003 — Ossipee Lake Alliance and the town of Ossipee will hold a public meeting to discuss milfoil on Ossipee Lake and how to address the new infestation found in Phillips Brook.

The meeting will be on Friday evening, October 10th, at 7:30 PM in the Ossipee Town Hall. Ken Warren of the exotic species program of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will discuss the importance of identifying and controlling the destructive weed, outline the options and costs of treatment, and answer questions.

Milfoil is an exotic, or non-native, weed that spreads rapidly and can interfere with recreational activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing. It can be controlled but cannot be eradicated. Standard control measures include pulling it from the water by hand, smothering it with large mats called bottom barriers, and treating it with aquatic herbicides. All of the methods are time-consuming and expensive and must be repeated when the milfoil returns. Left untreated, milfoil can devastate lakes or portions of lakes and reduce property values.

The Phillips Brook milfoil is the lake’s third infestation and was discovered in August by volunteers from the lake’s children’s camps who were collecting water samples as part of the Ossipee Lake Protection Program, an initiative of Ossipee Lake Alliance and Green Mountain Conservation Group. The program’s partners immediately contacted the state, local conservation groups, and town officials in Ossipee, Freedom, and Effingham to advise of them of the discovery.

While the town of Ossipee is hosting the meeting on the 10th, the meeting is meant for all three communities, according to the Alliance’s executive director, David Smith. “Milfoil and the even more destructive weed hydrilla don’t recognize town boundaries and the risk they pose to the lake makes this a multi-town issue.”

Ossipee Selectman Harry Merrow echoed that statement, saying “I encourage everyone who uses the lake to attend the meeting to learn more about this weed. This isn’t just an issue for people who own property on the lake, and it’s an opportunity to have your questions answered by one of our state experts.”

Ossipee Lake Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of Ossipee Lake as a significant environmental, recreational, and economic resource. It maintains a website at www.ossipeelake.org.

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