Updated 06/18/2012 05:16 PM
LGA reminding boaters about county's new invasive species law
Summer officially kicks off this week and that means it's about to get a whole lot busier on Lake George. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, a local organization is working to make sure boaters are well aware of a new invasive species law in Warren County.
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WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. – Summer is almost here and that means the Lake George Association's stewards are back on the lake, checking boats for invasive species.
The stewards are also educating boaters from far and near about Warren County's new invasive species law.
The first of its kind in the state, it outlaws the transportation of the harmful plant and animal species on county roads, along with prohibiting their introduction into county waterways like Lake George.
"We feel this is really a good law they've put into place here in Warren County and it's really kind of a breakthrough as far as legislation," said Walter Lender, executive director of the Lake George Association (LGA).
According to the LGA, the Lake George community spends between $600,000 and $1 million a year combating invasive species like Asian Clams and Eurasian Water Milfoil. With the new law that imposes up to a $5,000 fine and 15 days in jail, county leaders are hoping to drastically cut that expense.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes,” said Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec, who chairs the Warren County Board of Supervisors. “So what we're trying to do is limit or regress the spread of invasive species before they become an even bigger financial impact and they're not good for the health of the lake."
The New York State Assembly has passed its own invasive species bill, but a similar piece of legislation has stalled in the senate and yet to reach the floor.
Local leaders believe passage of that bill, coupled with the new county law, will provide the necessary means to combat the spread of invasive species across the entire state.
"Invasive species aren't only an issue in Lake George, invasive species are a big issue in a lot of waterways,” said Stec, a Republican who’s running for an open Assembly seat this November. “So I think the state should step to the plate and do more on this subject."
"We would hope that if we can't get a state law in place that some of these other counties and communities would do their own laws," Lender said.