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Kristen Rohne, an educator with the Lake George Association, sieves for Asian clams during a lakewide survey completed in September 2012. Photo: Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association
Kristen Rohne, an educator with the Lake George Association, sieves for Asian clams during a lakewide survey completed in September 2012. Photo: Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association

Washington, Essex counties consider regional invasive controls

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Washington and Essex counties are considering joining Warren County in banning the transport of invasive species by boats trailered from one body of water to another.

The proposals come as the region pushes boaters toward washing stations at major boat launches on Lake George this year.

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Warren County passed its own ban in 2011. Violators of the law face fines and jail time. But according to Sheriff Bud York, it has never been enforced by a local sheriff's deputy in the two years since its adoption.

Dennis Dickinson is Lake George Supervisor. He said the county is not out to fine people. "That's not our intent. Is it there in the background? Yes. But that's not what we want to do."

Dickinson said the intent of the law is to encourage wash stations, where owners can clean boats and trailers suspected of carrying invasives.

Warren County's Soil and Water Conservation District purchased a mobile wash station last year. Several communities partnered with local environmental groups for at least three more high-pressure stations for this season.

Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Melaney said she expects Essex County to consider the proposed ban within the next month. "I'm sure it will generate a tremendous amount of interest," she said. "It's so pervasive, everybody needs to keep a watchful eye on the numerous bodies of water we have here in Essex County, ponds and rivers and streams."

Dresden Supervisor Bob Banks said that he plans to introduce a law at a Washington County Finance Committee meeting next month too.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is currently reviewing a Lake George Park Commission proposal that could establish mandatory inspections and boat washes on Lake George. The tri-county push could effectively create a watered-down version of the state proposal, as every launch on Lake George would fall under a local transport law.

Reporter Jon Alexander contributed to this story, courtesy of the Glens Falls Post Star. For more of his reporting, go to poststar.com.

 

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