Ossipee — June 11, 2012 — “Threats to Our Lakes” will be the theme of Ossipee Lake Alliance’s annual Lake Representatives Forum on Saturday, June 16, at Ossipee Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
Starting with a coffee reception at 8:30 a.m. and running until Noon, the Forum will feature five speakers covering issues affecting Ossipee Lake and surrounding lakes and ponds as some of the area’s most significant economic, recreational, and environmental resources.
John Shipman, Chairman of the Ossipee Watershed Coalition, will start the morning with a presentation on how lake water quality is related to watershed management planning in the multi-town Ossipee Watershed.
Two presentations on milfoil will be given by Bob Reynolds, an Alliance board member who serves on the N.H. Legislature’s Exotic Aquatic Weeds and Species Committee. Reynolds will update last year’s headline-making Alliance study that showed state funding for milfoil control declined to just 12% of total funding in 2010, leaving almost all of the cost in the hands of local lake communities like Freedom and Ossipee. His new presentation, “Controlling Milfoil and Other Invasive Species: How Are We Going to Pay for It?”, will detail state and local milfoil control funding in 2011. Reynolds, a career environmental professional, will also lead a presentation entitled “2,4-D Aquatic Herbicide: It Kills Milfoil But What Else Does It Hurt?”
The importance of controlling storm water runoff on lakeshore properties will be the focus of “Keeping Phosphorus from Damaging Ossipee Lake,” to be presented by Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance program manager Dustin Johnson.
The Forum will conclude with “Ossipee Lake’s Aquatic Plants: Which Ones are Endangered, Invasive, and Native?” led by Alliance board member and retired college professor Barre Hellquist. Hellquist has studied Ossipee Lake’s plants for more than 50 years and will have plant specimens to view as examples.
This year’s event marks the first time the Lake Representatives Forum has been open to the public. Created as a way for representatives of the lake’s numerous property owner associations to help set Ossipee Lake Alliance’s work agenda, the biennial meeting grew to become annual and then to become a public forum.
“We had so many people call last year wanting to attend that we decided it was time to make it an open forum,” said Susan Marks, the Alliance’s director of programs, who added that all local property owners are invited, not just lake residents.
I think that the biggest threat to “our lake” is that we homeowners who are taxed unfairly finally have a solid position and support to push back.