Groups seek invasive-species inspections in New York

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A coalition of Adirondack Park and New York environmental groups is asking state officials to help create mandatory boat inspections for Lake George to thwart the spread of invasive species.

The coalition sent a letter Monday to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens asking for action on the issue, according to the Associated Press.

The Lake George Park Commission, which has studied the invasive species issue for about two years, was aiming to get the mandatory program in place in time for the 2013 boating season, but that timetable has become questionable as the state Department of Environmental Conservation remains skeptical, according to the Albany Times Union.

The letter said boat inspections and cleaning are needed to stop the spread of fast-breeding Asian clams into the 32-mile, 200-foot deep lake.

Signers of the letter include the Adirondack Council, Protect the Adirondacks, the Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Wild and the Sierra Club.

The governor and the environmental conservation department have not endorsed a proposal for a mandatory inspection program funded by increased boat fees, although states and municipalities around the nation have already imposed inspections.

The park commission wants to form a mandatory boat inspection and decontamination program modeled after a program for Lake Tahoe.

“Boats launching in Lake George come from almost 200 different water bodies annually. Our voluntary Lake Steward program can accomplish only so much,” Walt Lender, a representative of the Lake George Association, told the Times Union. “Lake George’s water quality is too important to take risks anymore.”

Click here for the AP story and click here for the Albany Times Union story

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