ALIC

June 15, 2016

Recent ALIC Board Meeting

Filed under: Events & News,General Info — Buddy @ 8:30 pm

At the monthly ALIC board meeting of Monday, June 13th, we discussed the Wayne Planning Board’s current Application for Special Exception Permit to operate a seasonal boat rental business.   Our discussion resulted in a position statement from ALIC to the Planning Board which has also been posted to both the ALIC blog and our e-mail list.

Please visit the ALIC blog at http://androscogginlake.org/blog/ to review related postings, to share your comments, and to take a look at other comments found there.   Also, consider posting something to the ALIC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/androscogginlake/.

My primary purpose in writing this posting is to respond to some of the feedback that I, personally, have heard from some of the members of our lake community.   The two things that disturb me most are (1) that many of the visitors to our board meeting felt that they were pressured into renewing their memberships before being allowed to speak and (2) that the position that the board has taken is a far too a conservative position for an organization such as ours and that our position was influenced by contributions or dues paid at the meeting.   I further understand that some of our members, especially those in the cove, are considering dropping their support for ALIC altogether.

I agree that there was miscommunication over who would be allowed to speak, and I understand why there was confusion.   ALIC board meetings have always been open to everyone, and we encourage everyone in our community to attend meetings and to become more involved.   It was not necessary for anyone attending our recent meeting to become a member or to renew their membership before being recognized to speak.   While there was discussion among board members as to whether or not we needed to pass a motion to explicitly allow non-members to be recognized, a measure was, in fact, quickly introduced and unanimously passed to allow this.    I believe that it was this discussion which created the confusion.   And, in hind site, given the nature of the meeting, I believe it is unfortunate that we took time out to accept membership dues at all that evening.

After some discussion, the majority of the voting board members present decided not to take a position on whether or not to oppose this application for exception.   Instead, we focused on formulating a set of recommendations to the Planning Board, in the event that they do approve the application, which would seek to mitigate a full set of environmental issues identified by e-mail messages from the community, visitors to the meeting, and ourselves.

Allow me to add that I, personally, had very much hoped that our board would have taken a much stronger position by recommending to the Planning Board that this application be altogether denied.   But after a straw vote of those voting members in attendance, it was clear that this was not going to happen.   A compromise was reached.  We decided neither to recommend for approval or denial, but to formulate a list of environmentally responsible recommendations to be considered in the event of approval.

I would like to absolutely assure everyone that nobody on our board was influenced in any way by any membership dues or contributions paid that evening or at any other time.   My vote probably could have been influenced by people signing up to volunteer for plant patrols or “Eyes on the Water”, but the rest of the board members are honest people :-).

On Monday, a couple of our board members were unable to attend.  Two others, Don and Aaron, removed themselves from the process due to possible conflict of interest with their respective roles on the Select Board and in the Town Offices.

Overall, in my personal estimation, our board does currently have a somewhat conservative makeup.   If you want to change that, consider serving on the board (send e-mail to alic_board@androscogginlake.org).   But, please, do not think about withdrawing your support of ALIC.   We do so much good work in preserving and protecting our lake.

Sincerely,
John (Buddy) Cummings

 

 

June 10, 2016

New Boat Rental Business in a sensitive area

Filed under: Events & News,General Info — Buddy @ 9:33 pm

An application has been submitted to the Planning Board of the Town of Wayne to seek approval of a Special Exception Permit to allow a new boat rental company to set up business in the cove.

A complete copy of this application can be found here.

ALIC has already been contacted by a number of its members expressing concerns about the approval of this exception.  Concerns include the following:

  • not only R-2, but also R-4, zones are impacted
  • R-4 zoning protects lake front and must not be compromised
  • the new business would abut both the lake and sensitive tributaries to the lake
  • unless the new business has a plan for installing a fully contained boat wash, fragments of invasive plants could well install themselves downstream, in Androscoggin Lake
  • the new business does not seem to have a plan for mitigating and containing fuel spills

The ALIC Board of Directors will hold it’s next meeting on Monday, June 13th, 7pm, at the Williams House.  This topic will be on our agenda.  Board meetings are open to all;  attend if you are able.

A Public Hearing to consider this application will be held by the Planning Board at the Wayne Town Offices on Thursday, June 16th, at 7pm.

 

April 24, 2016

2016 Summer Newsletter

Filed under: Events & News,General Info — Buddy @ 11:21 pm

The ALIC 2016 Summer Newsletter is now posted on our lake association web site (www.androscogginlake.org).

Paper copies of the newsletter will be mailed out in just a few weeks to those who have expressed that they still want paper.

March 4, 2016

Volunteers needed to contact Bass Fishing clubs

Filed under: General Info — Buddy @ 6:08 am

Androscoggin Lake is a popular spot for bass fishing, and, each summer, several bass fishing tournaments are held on our lake.   As a point of information for our membership, this list of tournament dates is always published in our lake association’s annual newsletter.

Well, we’ve already begun working hard on the ALIC 2016 Annual Newsletter, and we’ve taken a peek at the list of tournaments scheduled, so far, with Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW).   According to the IFW site, there are currently seven tournaments planned for the 2016 season on our lake.

Our lake association strives to maintain good relationships with the bass clubs which hold tournaments on our lake by encouraging open communication, attentive boat inspections, and good lake stewardship.

Please consider volunteering to become one of our lake association’s liaisons to the bass fishing clubs.   It is a small commitment of time.   But, it is one that can go a long way toward keeping our lake healthy.

For more information about this volunteer opportunity, or to sign up, please send a message to alic_board@androscogginlake.org.

January 11, 2016

2016 Summer Newsletter

Filed under: General Info — Buddy @ 11:10 pm

With the start of the new year, it is time for us to begin thinking about the lake association’s annual summer newsletter for 2016.   So far, the newsletter team only has a couple of ideas for articles.  We need your help.

What would you like to see in the newsletter this year?   This is the time to share your ideas for articles with the newsletter team.   Better yet, consider writing an article for the newsletter or even volunteering to join the team itself.

Contact the newsletter team at alic_newsletter@androscogginlake.org with your ideas, thoughts, and questions.   We look forward to hearing from you.

August 22, 2015

Tense Moments Identifying an Aquatic Plant on Androscoggin Lake

Filed under: Events & News,Lake Observations — Buddy @ 12:45 am

There are currently 24 water bodies in the state of Maine which have been identified with infestations of invasive aquatic plants.  Looking at the current invasives map published by the Maine DEP, it is easy to see that the majority of infestations in Maine are of variable water-milfoil.  Last year, only 23 water bodies were on the list of invasive plant infestations.  Sadly, the 24th lake to be added this year was Annabessacook Lake, in Winthrop.   The good news is that early detection of variable water-milfoil on Annabessacook has allowed concentrated efforts by both the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) and the Maine DEP to make good progress toward possibly eliminating this nasty invasive from Annabessacook.

While 24 water bodies is still less than 1% of the total number of water bodies in our state, an inspection of the invasives map quickly highlights the threat to our own beautiful lake.  The proximity of other infested water bodies to our north, south, east, and west is alarming.

Boat inspections are vital to keeping invasives out of our lake.   And, our lake association, ALIC, continues to promote inspections both through education and by sponsoring a program of Courtesy Boat Inspections at the state launch.

But, when the first line of defense fails, early detection is key.  Early detection can help to isolate an infestation to a small area, increasing the chances of eradication.   Last year, ALIC rolled out an “eyes on the water” initiative for Androscoggin Lake.  This program helps people to adopt small segments of shoreline around the lake and to become familiar with the native plants in both their adopted segments and around the lake.   By learning how to identify what is native to our lake, participants in the program quickly learn how to send out an alert when something suspicious, or unfamiliar, is found.  ALIC provides participants with one-on-one hands-on training, tools, resources, and support.

Yesterday, I went out with a new “eyes on the water” volunteer, Alberta Messer, to harvest aquatic plants in her adopted lake segment near her camp, around Davis point, and into the western end of the cove near the Yacht Club.  This was something of a training exercise, with focus on how to best collect aquatic plants for further inspection.

This afternoon, I met with Alberta again to continue our training exercise by identifying all of the plants that we had seen and collected the day before.   Everything seemed fairly routine;  I’ve already trained a number of participants;  and, I wasn’t really expecting any surprises.   But, then, as we were starting to wrap up the identification part of our training, we found some milfoil!

Okay, yes, milfoil!   But, no reason to panic yet.   There are actually several varieties of milfoil which are native to Maine lakes.  And, in fact, plant patrol teams on our lake have identified at least one native milfoil in our lake, alternate-flowered water-milfoil.   While it is not commonly found in our lake, it is present, and it is native.

We inspected the harvested specimen closely.   It had whorls of finely divided feathered leaves, typical of many milfoils, both native and invasive.  Each whorl of leaves was typically comprised of 4 leaves, but a few with 3.  Each leaf had 5 to 7 leaflet pairs.   And, each whorl was about 4 cm apart.   Looking at the Leafy Milfoil Comparison Chart, we came to the conclusion that this was either variable water-milfoil (invasive) or alternate-flowered water-milfoil (native).

Did we have an invasive on our hands? … tense moments ensued.  This did not quite look like any variable water-milfoil specimen that I had seen in the past.   But, perhaps, it was just an immature specimen.  Frankly, I did start to panic a bit.  I called Debbie Hite, ALIC Executive Director and plant identification expert, to let her know what we had found.   Debbie rushed over.  She, too, felt that the plant was likely alternate-flowered water-milfoil (native), especially given its small size and only a pinkish, rather than reddish, stem.   But, given that this was certainly a variety of milfoil, we decided it best to follow protocol for any and all milfoils and to submit the sample to the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) for absolute identification.

I was able to deliver our specimen to VLMP by 4:30pm today.   And, luckily, VLMP was able to confirm that our specimen was, in fact, alternate-flowered water-milfoil (native).   Sigh of relief …

The whorls on our specimen were distinct, evenly spaced, and of small diameter;   the stem was pinkish, rather than reddish.  An invasive variable water-milfoil specimen would have sported whorls that were so closely spaced that it would be difficult to distinguish one whorl from the next;  and, whorls would be of larger diameter.

Everyone who has any connection with Androscoggin Lake is certainly concerned with the threat of invasive species to our lake.  Whether you are an ALIC member, a lake shore resident, a resident of Leeds or Wayne, or an occasional visitor to our lake, please do your part.   Inspect your boats for potential hitchhikers.  If you are a business or campground on the lake, put in place a program of voluntary inspections.   Volunteer to help out with our courtesy boat inspection program.   And, participate in our “eyes on the water” program by adopting a lake segment;   monitoring your lake segment can require as little as 2 hours per year of your time!

To find out more about either the “courtesy boat inspection” program or the “eyes on the water” program, send e-mail to alic@androscogginlake.org.

To date, there are no known infestations of invasive aquatic plants on Androscoggin Lake.   Let’s all what we can in helping to keep it that way!

 

July 26, 2015

Great photos on FB page

Filed under: General Info — Debbie @ 9:25 pm

Some great photos have just been posted to our Facebook Page, Androscoggin Lake Improvement Corporation, which I’m sure you and your friends would enjoy. You’re invited to share your photos and like us if you’re on FB. Let’s get 100 likes by the Annual Meeting on Aug. 8. Hope to see many of you there!

July 17, 2015

Vote on Change to ALIC By-Laws at 2015 Annual Meeting

Filed under: Events & News,General Info — Buddy @ 7:06 pm

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Androscoggin Lake Improvement Corporation (ALIC) will be held at the Androscoggin Yacht Club in Wayne, Maine at 8:30am on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

This year, members present at the Annual Meeting will be asked to vote on the following change to the ALIC by-laws:

ARTICLE VI. BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

  1. Number, How Elected, Term. The governing board of this corporation shall be a Board of Directors composed of eleven (11) members. Three directors shall be ex-officio: one selectman select person from each of the towns of Wayne and Leeds, to be appointed by the respective town boards or a representative from each of the towns of Wayne and Leeds to be appointed by the respective town boards, and the Commodore of the Androscoggin Yacht Club or a representative appointed by the Commodore of the Androscoggin Yacht Club. Eight directors shall be elected from the membership at the annual meeting for terms of three years. In the event of a vacancy on the Board, the remaining directors may choose a person from the membership of the corporation to fill the unexpired term.

 

A full copy of the by-laws can be found on the ALIC website, www.androscogginlake.org.

July 14, 2015

Lost kayak

Filed under: General Info — Debbie @ 3:29 pm

A lake resident on the Leeds side of the lake has reported their kayak missing from their shorefront after a wind/rain event earlier this month. If you have retrieved a Heritage tan kayak adrift, please respond to this post or send ALIC an e-mail via our website. Please note that the Maine Warden Service advises owners of non-motorized watercraft to write their name and contact info somewhere on their vessels. Thanks!

June 19, 2015

Slide show and tackle exchange June 19

Filed under: Events & News,General Info — Debbie @ 1:36 am

Hope to see many of you at the Ladd Center tomorrow (Friday) for the wonderful slide program on Loons from Maine Audubon and the free tackle exchange. Bring in your lead sinkers and jigs and go home with new lead-free tackle! Refreshments at 6:15, slide show 6:30-7:15. Additional tackle exchanges in the works.

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