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Letter from a Longtime Lake Resident

I am a long time (20 years) lakefront property owner. Property is located in Southern Basin off Old Fluvanna Rd. (Rt. 126) in the Town of Ellicott.

First let me state that I am in 110% support of herbicide applications to control the severe “WEED” problem on Lake Chautauqua. Over the past 20 years herbicide application  (“SPRAYING”) is the only proven approach for actually reducing the “WEEDS”.  Let me give a quick and factual history that supports this statement:

   19 – 20 years ago; Lake is a swamp, people in the southern most part of the South Basin cannot get their boats out from the dock to the lake, the Summer Wind is struggling to get up and down the lake and the fishermen said the fishing was terrible.
   18 – 19 years ago; The CLP is organized and committed to do what is required to save the lake.  CLP initiates research and many studies to find alternatives to the “WEED” cutting.
   17 – 18 years ago; CLP obtains the necessary approvals for “SPRAYING” the most southern section of the South Basin.  [ NOTE: the CLA opposes all the efforts of the CLP during this time period. ]    This initial and minimal “SPRAYING” was done as follows:
          1 pass along each shore line, 200 ft. from shore
          1 pass down through the middle of the lake
           1st year had unbelievable results, the lake shore and lake itself had very minimal amount of “WEEDS”      We could use and enjoy the lake again !!
           2nd year after “SPRAYING”; some very small amount of “WEEDS” started to return, but overall still very good
           3rd year after “SPRAYING”; “WEEDS” started returning in a much more significant way
   Over the next 12 to 14 years; Nothing significant is done, No “SPRAYING”, just study after study after study along with a possible long term approach of trying to improve the runoff off chemicals into the lake from the far reaching areas that feed into the lake.
           The “WEEDS” continue to propagate and continue to spread throughout all of Chautauqua Lake, many areas now have “WEEDS” that previously had no “WEEDS”.
   Approx. 2 – 3 years ago; Bemus Point obtains approval to “SPRAY”
           A large reduction in the amount of “WEEDS”
   1 year ago; Some “SPRAYING” was done in the southern most areas of the South Basin
           A high reduction in “WEEDS”,  not entirely gone but a huge improvement and we had a  usable lake and almost back to a beautiful lake.

The history and pattern is very clear:   

“SPRAYING” results in a significant   reduction of “WEEDS”

NOT “SPRAYING” results in the continued growth and spreading of “WEEDS”

This Year: It is very important that approval for “spraying” is obtained because “spraying” in 2 consecutive years will really stymie the “WEED” growth to a manageable level for years to come.

As a side note; I am confident if we had continued to control the “WEEDS” with further “SPRAYING” 17 years ago the “WEEDS” would NOT have spread to all areas of the lake.

So I am asking the NYS DEC Region 9 Representatives to review the multitude of studies over the past many years that show “SPRAYING” to be totally safe and the history that shows “SPRAYING” to be the only truly effective and time sensitive approach for reducing the “WEEDS”. 
With these facts, please approve all applications for using herbicides on Lake Chautauqua to reduce the “WEEDS” and return it to a Beautiful lake for ALL the people that come to use and enjoy this lake.

I asking that going forward the top priority be PREVENTION of WEED GROWTH.  This approach will automatically address the 3 C,s of Cutting, Collection and Clean Up, thereby making these current priorities less necessary and therefore less of a priority and require less funding.  And while I understand the Chautauqua Institute’s concern for safe drinking water,  it has been studied  and proven over and over that proper “SPRAYING” does not affect the Institutes water.   The current approach and recommendations of both the CLA and The Institute appear to be very self serving at the expense of the majority (thousands) of people that want a usable and  beautiful Lake Chautauqua.

Submitted Respectfully,
Ron Nelson