Letter, Opinion

Lake of transparency is a problem with Lake Bomoseen Association

Dear Editor,

There is a great deal of frustration in the community toward the Lake Bomoseen Association (LBA) and the Lake Bomoseen Preservation Trust (LBPT) right now and it appears that much of it has been self induced by the LBA board. The LBA and LBPT and specifically their boards take a position of authority over the lake.

In most cases over the years they have tried to be helpful to the lake community and to all those who use the lake. Somehow they have lost their way over this herbicide issue.

The LBA’s application for a herbicide permit was sent to the state without community agreement or notice. As you’ve heard, the fish and wildlife community have their reasons for feeling blind sided and angry by this action as do so many LBA members and other community residents who use the lake to swim and recreate. The community’s main concern is that there are no long-term studies on the effects of ProcellaCOR.

Many of us swim in the water all the time and our children swim in the lake. We do not want to risk our personal health and the safety of our families so that boats can have easier access into and out of the water. Also the reality is that some areas on the lakes have more weeds than others. In that case using mats or suction can be a helpful benign solution. I have a boat so I am familiar with the occasional “weeds on the prop” syndrome.

This lack of transparency by the LBA is at the core of the community’s frustration and anger. Perhaps this lack of transparency is not intentional but the community notes it and resents it. I know many wonderful people who are LBA members. It’s important to remember that over 2,667 people in our community signed the petition against the use of ProcellaCOR. Where is the empathy and respect from the LBA board over the community’s concerns about using herbicide in this precious resource so many of us live on and by and enjoy? There was an LBA meeting last week and nothing was discussed about the permit, I have not seen any “community outreach.” New board members were selected by the board. We’ve seen nothing on their backround and position on using herbicide in the lake. So far, the one person I have read about is aggressively supportive of the use of herbicide. Again where is the transparency re the herbicide issue to the community? Where is the opportunity for those opposing herbicide to speak at the LBA meeting?

It appears that the LBA has access to funding in a variety of ways. Funding could be used to initiate more benign and non chemical milfoil control methods like mats and suctioning. Possibly the state could support more training and increase awareness on these alternative methods of controlling milfoil?

If there is a chance for cooperation between the LBA board and those in our community (and in the LBA) that are so strongly against the herbicide, perhaps organizing a committee with from both perspectives to foster a solution would be viable. There is an informal group on the lake called “Keep Lake Bomoseen Herbicide Free” and we certainly have several folks (some who are LBA members) who would be happy to work with an equal number of LBA folks toward a non-chemical solution for controlling the spread of milfoil.

Melinda Quinn,

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