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Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission’s Ad Hoc Aquatic Plant Management Work Group Releases its Report and Recommendations

For more information contact:

Sue Jones, Watershed Management Coordinator (267-0118) or
Darren Marsh, Interim Parks Director (246-3894)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/1/2004

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Invites public to review County’s new cutting plan on website


A copy of the report summarizing the work and recommendations of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission’s Ad Hoc Aquatic Plant Management Work Group is now available on the Dane County web site (www.co.dane.wi.us/commissions/lakes/aquaticplantmanagement.shtml).

The Ad Hoc Work Group was a broad-based group charged with documenting existing practices and making recommendations to improve the County's aquatic plant harvesting operation. Participants included representatives of the Lakes & Watershed Commission and staff, Dane County Parks Commission and staff, Dane County Public Works and Transportation Committee and staff, City of Madison Parks Commission and staff, Department of Natural Resources staff, Dane County Land Conservation staff, and UW-Madison Limnology faculty.

This work group met on five occasions between January and April 2004. Discussions included developing both short-term goals and long-term objectives.

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk praised the group’s work: “I appreciate the group’s hard and thoughtful work that resulted in recommendations that we are already putting in place.”

Citizens can review the report on the web, including updated maps and text identifying cut/no-cut areas and harvesting priorities and rationales. Harvester locations are now being updated daily on the web, and citizens can get answers there to common questions about the harvesting program.

Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission member Mark Pernitz, who chaired the Work Group, said “We intend to reconvene the Work Group at the end of the season to evaluate the County's harvesting operation and to suggest changes in procedure, if indicated, for the 2005 season. We welcome and appreciate the public’s suggestions and recommendations.”

Dane County Parks Department is responsible for the aquatic plant harvesting program. Seven harvesters have been in operation since June 1, and will continue through the growing season. Adhering to Department of Natural Resources requirements and operating within the county’s limited budget, the county’s policy is to cut and harvest Eurasian water milfoil and other invasives to provide for reasonable use of the lakes for boating, fishing and swimming, while preserving the health and balance of the lake ecosystem. Harvested plants are hauled by truck to remote compost sites.

The website provides a place for citizens to provide comments on the harvesting program and recommendations, which are being implemented this season. Citizens may also call and talk with Parks staff at (608) 246-3896 with any suggestions or concerns.



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