Freedom—August 11, 2014—New Hampshire Governor Hassan has signed HB 292, which will increase the fee on boat registrations by $2 for the specific purpose of controlling invasive aquatic weeds in state lakes and rivers. The new fee will begin in 2015.
Passage of the bill is the result of a year-long effort by the organization Fair Funding for Invasives Control, which is chaired by Ossipee Lake Alliance Executive Director Bob Reynolds. Reynolds formed the organization as a way to focus attention on the state’s lack of a sustainable long-term funding plan for milfoil control.
Ossipee Lake Alliance is one of a growing number of lake organizations that have questioned why lake communities have been saddled with almost all of the cost to control invasive weeds in state-owned lakes. In its most recent research on state funding, the Alliance last year reported that the state paid just 18 percent of the cost of milfoil control, with lake property owners and their communities paying the remainder. Moreover, 30 percent of the state’s infested waters had no milfoil control plan at all in 2012.
HB 292 was co-sponsored by State Senator Jeb Bradley, who represents the Ossipee Lake area, and it had the support of the three Ossipee Lake area state representatives.
In an email announcement that the Governor has signed the bill, Reynolds cited the help of key New Hampshire legislators, as well as the N.H. Department of Environmental Services, the N.H. Marine Trades Association, the N.H. Lakes Association, and the lake association members of the Fair Funding coalition.
“We are so appreciative of all the time and energy you have put into this great cause,” Reynolds wrote. “We know we aren’t alone in our passion to ensure NH’s water bodies are clear and clean for generations to come.”