In my position, I often hear lakeshore owners frustrated, sometimes angry, with lack of government or agency initiative or investment. I also hear strong suggestions that boaters should pay for management and prevention efforts, because they are the ones bringing exotic species into the lake.The problem is this – neither government nor users can be looked upon for significant financial support to protect our lake.
Why do I say this?
Governmental attention at the federal, state, and even local levels is focused elsewhere. At all levels, we have serious deficiencies in funding and policy support for failed and failing systems that include: energy, transportation infrastructure, public works infrastructure, health care, social security and Medicare, and education. This means that environmental programs come very low on the priority list. Even with these obvious critical priorities, there is gridlock. Bottom line – critical and essential support for protecting
In an almost perverse way, tax reduction initiatives are also a priority. This means that local governments – cities and counties – are being forced to confront reductions to non-essential services. Again, this leaves
What about user fees? While we have advocated for user fees as a fair and proportional way to help pay for management and protection actions, especially for those involving exotic species, the political hurdles are formidable. Is this fair? No. Is this realistic? Yes, I believe it is.
A criticism often leveled at
In fact, we are lucky to have this wonderful lake. Lakeshore owners, businesses, and the greater community enjoy the great wealth
We should continue to demand our lakes get the protection they deserve, but in the meantime
What Can Members Do?
Mostly get involved. This is civics-101. Contact your state and local representatives and tell them protecting
Effective programs for protection and control of exotic species require funding.
The Lake Minnetonka Association has a demonstrated track record of catalyzing positive action to protect