West End: Green blight rallies Lake Sutherland residents
to create taxing district
LAKE SUTHERLAND -- A residents' group is organizing to fight the green blight in this body of water west of Port Angeles -- Eurasian watermilfoil.
About 40 Lake Sutherland residents have signed a petition requesting that Clallam County commissioners form a lake management district that would assess about 350 Lake Sutherland property owners $50 per year.
The assessment would pay for routine removal of the invasive, non-native freshwater weed.
Milfoil grows as long as 20 feet in depths of up to 20 feet, choking out native plants, reducing fishing habitat and degrading water quality, said Cathy Lucero, county weed board coordinator.
``Residents are working together,'' Lucero told the commissioners on Monday. ``It's a community bonding process.''
Since 2000, volunteers have set out in kayaks, canoes, motorboats and scuba gear to yank the feathery, aggressive weed from the lake bottom and keep it from ruining water quality.
Now, a core of Lake Sutherland neighbors wants to form the lake management district to add punch -- and about $15,000 in annual revenues -- to their milfoil-killing efforts.
Lake resident Jim Haguewood, a member of the Lake Sutherland milfoil steering committee, and Lucero urged the county commissioners Monday to recognize the petition and the Lake Sutherland residents' efforts.
Commissioners Chairman Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness, said the commissioners
would put together a resolution in support of the anti-milfoil program
and creating the lake management district.