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Burntside Lake AIS Prevention/Education Funding Approved for 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2017

Burntside Lake AIS Prevention/Education Funding Approved for 2017

The St. Louis County Commissioners have awarded $43,075 to the Burntside Lake Association (BLA) to support aquatic invasive species (AIS) education and prevention projects at Burntside Lake and throughout the Ely area.  In addition, North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was awarded $281,600 to provide boat inspection, boat cleaning, and boat operator education activities on Burntside Lake and Lake Vermilion.  The Burntside Lake portion of the SWCD program will be for boat inspectors on the landings on Burntside and for boat cleaning stations on Burntside and in the City of Ely for residents and visitors to the area.

“We are excited to again receive funding to help support our efforts to prevent the spread of AIS into and out of Burntside and all Ely-area lakes.  Keeping our lakes free of AIS is critical to maintaining our lakes as one of the most popular recreational areas in the State of Minnesota,” said Carrie Ohly-Cusack, the Chair of the Burntside Lake AIS Task Force.  “We received great support and feedback from the community during the 2016 season.  We look forward to working again with area merchants, resorts, the Chamber of Commerce, and other Lake Associations to continue to raise awareness about the dangers of AIS and ways to prevent its spread into our area.”

In 2016, the BLA completed nearly 2,200 boat inspections at Burntside Lake, raising boat operators’ understanding of the importance of preventing the spread of AIS among Ely-area lakes.  In 2017, we will be providing enhanced training to our inspectors so they are better able to answer the many questions boaters and others have about AIS.  In addition, we will be working with volunteers on Burntside and on other lakes to develop a “sentry” program where volunteers will be trained to monitor areas of their lakes for new AIS species.  The few remediation options available for getting rid of AIS are most effective when a new infestation is caught early.

The Burntside Lake Association is committed to preserving and protecting Burntside Lake from the introduction of additional AIS and the spread of AIS from Burntside to other lakes in the Ely area and elsewhere.

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About the Burntside Lake Association

The Burntside Lake Association was formed in 1976 to enhance, preserve, and protect the interests of Burntside Lake property owners.  Over the years, the BLA has worked with the County to update the zoning of property on the lake, worked with property owners to ensure septic systems were not contaminating the lake, and other projects to keep our lake clean and enhance the experience for all who live on or visit our lake.  Visit our website at http://www.burntside.org.

In the summer of 2015, a group of Burntside Lake Association members formed an Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force.  Aquatic invasive species are already present in many of the pristine waters of Northeastern Minnesota, including Burntside Lake.  In response to this growing threat, the Burntside Lake Association has formed an Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force. 

The mission of this task force is to protect Burntside Lake and surrounding lakes and rivers by prevention, detection, and early remediation of these non-native plants and animals. Our excellent water resources, recreational fisheries, and healthy ecosystems depend on the success of our collective efforts to control aquatic invasive species.

In 2016, the Burntside Lake Association received a grant of $189,857 from St. Louis County for its AIS Prevention Plan.  With those funds, the BLA:

  • prepared and distributed AIS information and educational materials to property owners, resorts, outfitters, bait shops, and other retailers in the Ely area
  • provided trained boat inspectors at Burntside Lake boat launch sites
  • provided boat decontamination stations on Burntside and at the Ely Chamber to thoroughly clean watercraft and recreational equipment that are moving among lakes that may be contaminated.
  • commissioned a professional survey of Burntside Lake to establish a baseline of the types of aquatic plants that are present in the Lake.  No invasive plants were found.
  • worked with other area lake associations and interested parties through the formation of the Ely Area Invasives Team to coordinate AIS education and prevention activities.  Members include representatives from White Iron Chain of Lakes, Eagles Nest Township Lake Association, Shagawa Lake, Bear Island Lake, Vermilion Lake Association, North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ely Field Naturalists, 1854 Treaty Authority, Ely Community Resource, and Minnesota Statewide AIS Advisory Committee.
  • supported educational projects through Ely Community Resource and their ECO Club.

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Burntside Lake Association
P.O. Box 81
Ely, MN 55731

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