NEW CON COMM MEETING SCHEDULED: NOV 1, 2021, 7 pm
Leverett Conservation Commission meeting to be held on Monday November 1st, 7 pm.
The Leverett Pond lake management Notice of Intent (NOI) Public Hearing has been continued and will take place during the next Conservation Commission regular virtual monthly meeting scheduled for Monday, November 1 at 7:00. (Click here for the Town of Leverett website, to get the GoToMeeting link.)
Environmental habitat experts Mickey Marcus and Naomi Valentine of SWCA Environmental Consultants, a nationwide environmental consulting firm, will once again be present to answer any questions concerning the work they did this past summer on Leverett Pond and described in their report to FLP that was provided to the Conservation Commission on October 1.
Everyone who is interested in the results of the habitat study, SWCA's recommendations, and the Leverett Pond lake management NOI generally is encouraged to join this meeting. Those joining the meeting are encouraged to ask questions and offer comments. Please keep in mind that all of the methods described in the NOI and recommended by SWCA are approved lake management methods as described in the "GEIR”, the Final Generic Environmental Impact Report on Eutrophication and Aquatic Plant Management in Massachusetts, prepared by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
Those of us wanting this resolved are urged to be patient yet firm. The Leverett Conservation Commission is operating without a regular Conservation Agent and they are electing to meet using a 100% virtual, rather than a hybrid, format, i.e., there is no opportunity to exchange views and deliberate in person. They are functioning under compromised circumstances. It is important those interested to please join and engage in this review process that, hopefully, will be resolved within the next one-to-two months and under terms that are best for the long term ecological health of Leverett Pond.
NEW HABITAT SURVEY
Click here to read the final draft of the report from our habitat consultants concerning the survey they conducted of Leverett Pond this past summer. Contained in their report not only are the results from the survey but also their recommendations to the Leverett Conservation Commission on how to move forward with the Friends of of Leverett Pond Notice of Intent (NOI) to continue with the Lake Management Plan that has been developed over the past 20 years. The report is rich in content, both quantitative and qualitative, and provides considerable context to the work that has been underway for the past 20 years. I encourage everyone to take the time to read the report, absorb the information and send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
REQUEST FOR SUPPORT
Background: We are concerned the Commission may not consider aggressive milfoil infestation of Leverett Pond a serious ecological issue. One Commission member even considers invasive plants to be benign or beneficial. Of the options considered, our best action at this time is to urge FLP members and community members at large to send letters supporting our NOI to the Commission. Attached please find a letter template prepared by a fellow FLP member. It does an excellent job arguing in favor of weed management using effective practices. We urge every FLP member to read this letter, edit for their own purposes and email to: email@example.com and cc to: firstname.lastname@example.org sometime before ConCom’s next meeting on October 4 at 7:00. pm. We also strongly urge everyone to attend this virtual meeting and speak in favor of the FLP Notice of Intent.
P.S. Please pass this along to your friends and neighbors and anyone else you know who values Leverett Pond.
To the Leverett Conservation Commission:
I am an enthusiastic supporter of Leverett Pond and care deeply about this wonderful natural treasure in the heart of our town. I want to see it persist as a resilient, healthy ecosystem.
The current process around granting permits to control aquatic weeds on the pond is of great concern for me. I understand and appreciate that public comment is an essential part of any regulatory process in a democracy, and that you are exercising your due diligence in hearing comments that oppose FLP’s application. But a permit process also needs to make determinations based on science, not on pseudo-science and bias. Opponents should not be able to hold up the process while the problem on the pond increases. “No action” on the weeds in the pond could spell the end of Leverett Pond as we know it.
This commission supported construction of a new dam at the pond, which FLP undertook in part at the suggestion of the commission several years ago. They understood then that other methods besides, or in addition to, herbicides were needed to control milfoil and other invasive species. This year’s permit requests are intended to take a multi-pronged, science-based approach to the problem — including possible winter drawdowns, raking by hand and machine, and targeted and low-dose herbicide applications when needed. I support this integrated pest management approach and hope that the commission will see its way clear to approval of FLP’s applications as soon as possible.