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Leicester joins invasive species fight

LEICESTER — The town of Leicester has been awarded a $28,000 grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to help control invasive species on Lake Dunmore and Fern Lake, located in the towns of Leicester and Salisbury. The control program is coordinated and operated by the Lake Dunmore/Fern Lake Association.
The award from DEC’s Watershed Management Division will help the association fund Eurasian milfoil control in both lakes during the spring, summer and fall of 2013. The association, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, has a total annual budget of $140,000, funded by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation grant-in-aid, the Lake Champlain Basin Program, lake residents, friends of the lakes and the towns of Leicester and Salisbury.
“Our lakes are tremendous economic resources for the region and the generous grant from the Agency of Natural Resources means we will be able to be even more aggressive in our efforts to fight non-native species that each year threaten our lakes,” said Allen Wilson, volunteer coordinator for the association. “The funds, in conjunction with our incredible volunteer resources, means we can enhance our efforts to control the spread of Eurasian water milfoil. To date EWM is the only invasive species known to exist in our lakes.”
The grant supports a control project that incorporates volunteer lake monitoring, the use of diver-operated suction harvesting, the hand pulling of milfoil and a public boat access greeter program. A volunteer program was established in 1994 hand pulling Eurasian water milfoil in an effort to control the spread of the invasive species. Currently the program employs a staff of 10 who, with the help of volunteers, harvested approximately 5,000 bushels of EWM and inspected in excess of 780 boats prior to entering our lakes for invasive species
For more information about the DEC grant, contact Julie Delphia, Leicester town clerk, at (802) 247-5961, ext. 3.
For more information about LDFLA and the invasive species control program, contact Allen Wilson at (802) 483-2269 or awilsonski@yahoo.com.

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