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Tuftonboro delays chemical milfoil treatment till fall

July 12, 2012
TUFTONBORO — Bill Marcussen, chairman of Tuftonboro's milfoil committee, brought an amendment request to the 2012 Special Permit Application to postpone the chemical treatment of milfoil to the beginning of September 2012 for selectmen to sign at their July 2 meeting.

A letter of notification will be sent by registered mail to property owners within The Basin area of Lake Winnipesaukee along Tuftonboro Neck to notify them of the committee's plan to apply herbicide in September to reduce the milfoil infestation.

The plan to treat the water body this spring was postponed when several property owners claimed that they were not informed in advance. The committee's efforts to contact residents are a matter of record, but it agreed to postpone the treatment until the fall and go through the communication process again.

The delay was a disappointment to all concerned for it means that the milfoil can grow unchecked during its prime growing season, and the efforts of the volunteer divers and boat tenders last September in Winter Harbor Basin are diminished.

Marcussen's letter, with an amendment stating the change in the treatment schedule, received the approval of the board and should be in the mail shortly, allowing a generous lead time.

Milfoil eradication has been a matter of concern for the town for several years. Tuftonboro participates in a cooperative arrangement with Moultonborough and Wolfeboro for the use of two jointly-owned Diver Assisted Suction Harvester (DASH) boats used to remove milfoil manually.

The areas of milfoil infestation were mapped in 2011 by the NH Department of Environmental Services and continue to be monitored with the help of volunteer Weed Watchers.

Selectman Chairman Dan Duffy, who has led the way in the milfoil management planning, reported that the June 28 workshop presented for volunteers from all three towns by environmental scientist Amy Smygula in the Tuftonboro Town House was well attended. Plant identification charts and collection kits are available at the Tuftonboro town offices.

Several residents, including the father and son team of Fran and Patrick Laase, have received the necessary diver training to pull tenacious plants from the lake bottom and send it up to the DASH boat. Others now have experience tending the weed intake as it comes onto the pontoon boat. They stand ready to serve again in September.

Detailed information on the town's long range plan and aerial maps of the infestations are available for viewing on the town's Web site, www.tuftonboro.org.

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