In each issue of The Pearl we pose three questions to an ESSLA partner in protecting the Schroon Lake watershed. This time it’s Jim Lieberum, District Manager for the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Q1: Your Warren County agency administers the harvesting of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) in Schroon Lake. But the lake lies in two counties–Warren and Essex. Does that complicate things for your agency?
Lieberum: It’s a bit of a complication, but it’s certainly not a problem for us. To do a project in another county, we must first develop a formal written agreement with our counterpart in that county. In this case, for us to manage the EWM harvesting project, the Boards of Directors of the Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Warren County SWCD both had to authorize and sign an agreement. What we’ve experienced–and seen–around Schroon Lake is a high degree of cooperation between governments.
Q2: How well is the EWM harvesting program working? What do you see for the future of EWM management on our lake?
Lieberum: Overall the program is working well and we feel that EWM is at a management level–the harvest is yielding in the range of 800 to 1,000 pounds of EWM per year. The public’s vigilance and the ESSLA Scout Program really help the cause by saving valuable time for the divers. If ESSLA’s and other volunteers around the lake continue with their support, I believe Schroon Lake will be in a good state as far as EWM goes over the next decade…but there are always new threats to be watching for.
Q3: From your perspective, what can ESSLA and its members do to best protect our watershed?
Lieberum: Stay informed and active on issues. Understand what has been completed and why and keep abreast of new projects, technologies and “threats.” Specifically:
1.Provide public comment on issues important to you to your local community.
2.Let your community know that water quality is critical for the environment and directly impacts the state of the economy.
3.Attend meetings and functions concerning the environment, economics and land use (and others).
4.Educate others that may not be as fully informed in a concise, accurate way.
5.Join ESSLA’s EWM Scout program and help APIPP with terrestrial plant invasive species notifications.
~By Gary Karl, ESSLA Board Director and Chair of Partner Relations and Nominations Committees