Archive for May, 2013

KLPW SAYS CORPS NEEDS TO PUT ON BIG BOY BOOTS FOR HYDRILLA


POSITION STATEMENT by KERR LAKE PARK WATCH


ON THE SUBJECT OF THE CONTINUING SPREAD OF HYDRILLA, A NOXIOUS AQUATIC WEED


FOR THE PUBLIC COMMENT AND RECORD OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AS REQUESTED BY


THE U. S. ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS


Prepared by Frank Timberlake, Lead, Public Affairs, Kerr Lake Park Watch




May 31, 2013


 


ATTN:  Mr. Robert Dennis


U. S. Army Corps of Engineers


1930 Mays Chapel Road


Boydton, Virginia  23917


 


Kerr Lake Park Watch is comprised primarily of 175+ members who camp, swim, picnic, boat, ski and fish at parks operated on Kerr Lake either by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Virginia State Parks or North Carolina State Parks.   Less than three years old, Kerr Lake Park Watch has been successful in several singular parks improvements and joined with numerous organizations to squelch Virginia Uranium mining that could have potential threats to Kerr Lake.  120 members of KLPW keep up with issues on Facebook with many keeping abreast using social media and the organization’s active blog.


 


Not one member has had anything positive to say about Hydrilla.  More importantly, we are unified on one simple point.  The lake belongs outright to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, period.  The Corps has been very slow in acknowledging Hydrilla’s existence.  Only after public inquiry and complaints did the Corps set itself up as the approval center for private citizens to obtain names of certified herbicidal application companies or weed sprayers.  That posture was wrong from the beginning.


 


It is a failed response.  The proof is on the other side of the Kerr dam, Lake Gaston.  Wrongly, the Corps has folded its arms and stated it doesn’t have funding.  Imperative and impactful research on a real containment solution, the use of microbials, was halted at the Corps’ Water Resource Center in Vicksburg, MS.


 


The Corps needs to put Hydrilla and its control, if not containment, on a priority list and work with federal legislators to get funding, but first the Corps of Engineers must take responsibility and say, “it is our problem.”  The Corps will find that many state agencies may want to help, but they all know it is not their place to lead.  Anything less than a full assault on Hydrilla by the Corps, leaves the lake’s landowners and the lessees of the public lands at the mercy of the “approved” sprayers.


 


When the boat ramp areas shut down because no one can get a boat in or out of the lake, when the kids and their families quit coming to the lake because they can’t swim, when the news media starts carrying a Hydrilla-related drowning death toll, when all that starts happening, it will be too late to lament the huge loss of life, the loss of revenue from tourism and the close of countless businesses in two states that depend on that lake for their livelihood.


 


U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, it’s time to step up and put on your big-boy boots, or you can take the typical federal government posture and run like hell!


 

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