Dear LSCCF Members and Other Friends of Little Lake:
I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your tremendous support for the work of the LSCCF and to bring you up to date on a number of important developments.
As many of you know, the campaign to raise funds for the new herbicide program has been wonderfully successful! Working in partnership with the Lake St Catherine Association (LSCA), we have raised enough money to cover the 2021 treatment plan and have enough left over to kick start fundraising for the 2022 season. Thank you!
We are all looking forward to seeing visible improvements in conditions in the lake once this treatment is completed. In the meanwhile, we are working closely with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the LSCA to ensure that we can maintain navigational access for everyone through our harvesting program without undercutting the benefits of the herbicide program.
In another piece of good news, the residents of Wells once again resoundingly endorsed the work we are doing to protect and restore the beauty and full access to Little Lake. Earlier this month, they voted overwhelmingly to grant the LSCCF $20,000 to carry out our activities. These funds are critical, covering the lion’s share of the harvesting program costs.
On the other side of the ledger, we were disappointed, but not surprised, when the DEC issued its formal denial of our pending permit application to install a full-lake aeration system in Little Lake. Given the State’s extremely conservative approach on all matters environmental, we knew that it was a long shot to find a way to convince them to allow us to reinstate use this completely safe intervention. We remain convinced, however, that coupled with the use of enzymes, it is the best available option for countering the growing problems of deepening muck (organic sediment) and excess vegetation in Little Lake. We plan to continue to gather evidence to support these approaches.
We explored the possibility of filing an appeal of this decision, but after consulting with a well-known environmental law firm, we have decided that we do not have the funds and bandwidth needed to fight this battle. The plain fact is that the State is far better position to win in terms of staff and other resources than the LSCCF, a small non-profit manned by community volunteers. We decided to use our time, money and energy to continue our work to improve conditions in Little Lake, and to gather evidence of the need for a more direct approach to deal with the muck issue.
Lastly, we were saddened to lose two key members of the LSCCF Board of Directors – Rich Young and David Emmons. Rich had been the driving force behind our project to find a viable approach to dredging the shoreline in the northwest corner of Little Lake. He stepped aside for personal reasons, but is still helping out on special projects.
As many of you know, David Emmons has worked tirelessly for years to find environmentally safe interventions to improve conditions in Little Lake. He was part of the original team that set up the LSCCF in 2010 and was the one of the driving forces behind the LSCCF’s efforts to introduce and expand its aeration program from 2012 to 2018. We wish him every success in his future endeavors and we hope he will remain a key component of the work to save Little Lake.
As we all look forward to a great summer on the lake, please remember that we need all of you to join us by renewing your membership in the LSCCF! When you can, talk to your neighbors about joining the Fund. Membership is critical to support and fund our cause. They can join on our website, https://lakematters.com. They (and you) can pay the annual dues ($100) there via our PayPal button or by mailing a check to PO Box 52, Wells VT 05774.
We are working hard for everyone, but we won’t be successful without strong, sustained support from the community. We need your help and as much financial support as everyone can provide. For example, further work on the dredging project won’t be possible this year without additional support.
Thanks in advance!
LSCCF Interim President