By Francesca Krempa
Climate change, invasive species and other ecological changes on Lake Placid are spurring locals into action.
The Shore Owner’s Association of Lake Placid (LPSOA) is seeking public input on the development of an official lake management plan for Lake Placid – the first of its kind to protect and conserve the future of the lake. In conjunction with the Ausable River Association (AsRA), the LPSOA is collecting responses from a stakeholder release survey that will inform how people are using the lake, where they’re traveling from and what worries they may have about Lake Placid.
“This is an opportunity for anyone that enjoys the lake to provide input on the plan in the early phase of development,” said Kelley Tucker, executive director of AsRA, in a recent statement. “Whether you hike the trails at Brewster Peninsula, kayak to Whiteface Landing, or own a camp, we want to hear from you.”
Earlier this year, the LPSOA began working with Brendan Wiltse, former science and stewardship director for the AsRA, to develop a formalized plan designed to mitigate a number of man-made and ecological concerns on the lake. Lake Placid is a recreational resource in the Adirondacks. It also serves as the drinking water source for the Village of Lake Placid and is classified as the highest water quality possible by the New York State DEC.
Now, challenges like harmful algal blooms, septic systems and runoff endanger the future of the lake and its surrounding shorelines. Invasive species are a threat, too. Recently, water stewards intercepted a boat with zebra mussels about to enter the water. Milfoil continues to be a problem, albeit contained, in Paradox Bay.
A formal management plan will assess how the lake currently tackles these issues and how they can be prevented in the future. In addition to conservation strategies, Wiltse explained, it will also serve as an educational asset that outlines guidelines for things like proper shoreline development and boater safety regulations.
“It would be a rich resource of information for any future issues that may arise that are important to the lake,” Wiltse said.
All parties – shore owners, paddlers, anglers, locals and day-trippers – are invited to help inform the development of a strategic stewardship and conservation plan. Wiltse emphasized needing to hear from everyone invested in the waterbody to outline what needs to be done and estimate where funding needs to come from.
“The shore owners can do some things, but the Village and the State need to do others,” he said. “The public is one of those stakeholders that needs to be at the table.”
The survey will be open through the end of September 2020 and can be completed at lpsoa.org/survey.