NEWS

Why Join Michigan Lake and Stream Associations?

March 10, 2013 20:38

Contributed by Scott Brown
ML&SA Executive Director

 I know I don’t need to remind you or the other members of your association how profoundly valuable our “inland seas” – our lakes, big or small, are to the Great Lakes region and to our state in particular. These fragile bodies of water, not yet even fifteen thousand years old, continue to attract hundreds of thousands of people to Michigan in search of fun and relaxation. The investment you made in your lake front home and/or property turned out to be a wise one!

Yet, while our lakes continue to serve generation after generation, offering both outstanding recreational   and economic opportunities for our citizens, the fact is, we have given little or nothing back to sustain or maintain the health of these living and ever evolving freshwater basins we know as lakes. Rapidly expanding development on and around our lakes as well as over use and aquatic invasive species threaten to degrade the water quality and the aquatic ecosystems of these priceless freshwater gems. Is the fishing in your lake as good as it was forty years ago – with few exceptions, the “old timers” will tell you that it is not.

I’m convinced the best way to ensure that our lakes remain healthy and viable for future generations as well as to protect the substantial investment you’ve made in lake front property is to join the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations – an organization totally dedicated to preserving and protecting our lakes and streams as well watching out for your rights as a lake or stream front property owner.

With the active support of you and your association members, our organization will continue to educate and train state and local government officials on issues that directly impact you and your lake, we’ll continue to work with our partners – the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan State University Extension, the Great Lakes Commission and the Huron River Watershed Council in administering the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program – one of the best all volunteer water quality monitoring efforts in the country. And, with your support, the Michigan Lakes and Streams Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring the future of Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, will continue to publish one of the nation’s finest magazines dedicated to covering subjects and issues of interest to Michigan lakefront property owners – The Michigan Riparian.

I won’t mince words at this point – the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations needs you and your association to join us in helping to give back -to preserve, to protect and to save our lakes and streams for future generations.  We need your active participation in projects that benefit your lake, and quite frankly, without the financial support gleaned through your annual association dues, we would be unable to continue to actively support the education, training, and lake monitoring programs that are so critical to preserving our inland lakes and the riparian rights we all enjoy in Michigan.



MLSA Region 9 Aquatic Invasive Species Survey Highlights Need for Close Lake Monitoring

March 6, 2013 18:56

by Sarah Litch
ML&SA Region 9
Representative

The Water Quality Committee of the Glen Lake Association sent out a survey in January 2013 to the Lake Associations, Watersheds, and Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Region 9, which includes Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties, to determine the aquatic invasive species that they have identified in their lakes and along their shorelines.

The graph shows the percentage of lakes reporting the presence of each of the invasive species that they have in their lake/watershed.  The graph is based on the reports from 36 lakes.  Only 1 of the surveys sent out was not returned. View the graph by clicking here

Only two lakes within ML&SA’s Region 9 besides those in the Glen Lake Watershed do yearly aquatic invasive species surveys, reported to Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Aquatic Plant Survey data base, of their lakes for aquatic invasive species so there is probably under reporting for many of the lakes

Glen Lake has Zebra mussels as do 66.67% of the lakes reporting.  One of the biggest threats to our watershed is  Eurasian water milfoil, which was reported by 36.11% of the lakes, though not yet found in the Glen Lake Watershed. It is an aggressive grower and spreads rapidly.  The treatment to eliminate it can be very expensive if it is not detected early. An Aquatic Plant Survey has been done for the past ten years in our watershed to facilitate early detection and rapid response if Eurasian milfoil is found as well as any other invasives .

A survey and treatment for both Coltsfoot and Eurasian Phragmites along the shoreline is done each year in our watershed. Curly leaf pondweed has been found in Big Glen Lake and harvested.  Since the Glen Lake Association has an active survey/treatment program for both aquatic and shoreline invasives we are in fairly good shape in relation to other lakes in District 9.  Treatment of Zebra mussels is also being actively explored and may be part of our survey/treatment of invasives in the future.

The constant threat of the introduction of aquatic invasive species into our watershed by recreational watercraft is shown in this table. View table by clicking here



MLSA Announces Agenda for 52nd Annual Conference

March 4, 2013 15:29

Conference Registration Now Open
to Members and the General Public

STANTON — Michigan Lake and Stream Associations (ML&SA) is proud to announce the agenda for the 52nd  Annual  Conference  that  will  be  held  on Friday  and   Saturday, April  26th & 27th, 2013  at  the Doubletree by Hilton Riverfront Hotel in Bay City.

Since 1961, ML&SA has held an annual conference whose overall theme and substance is focused on  celebrating and learning more about how citizens can contribute to the preservation and protection of Michigan’s vast treasure of high quality inland lakes and streams.

This year’s Annual Conference theme is “Celebrating and Exploring Michigan’s Magnificent Inland Fisheries”. The conference will open on Friday morning with a unique two hour plenary session focused on the status of Michigan’s diverse fish populations and the ecological challenges that must be overcome to ensure that viable recreational fishing opportunities remain for future generations of Michiganders. In addition, the conference will feature a three hour seminar focused on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the controversial natural gas extraction process that has recently stirred heated  debate throughout Michigan.

Inland lake and stream enthusiasts and lakefront property owners are encouraged to attend this unique conference which will explore the latest techniques for managing aquatic invasive species, controlling lake muck and restoring inland lake natural shorelines. A variety of diverse topics including riparian rights and water law, Michigan water withdrawal laws, working with local townships in protecting your local water resources and inland lake management will also be offered during the two day conference.

In addition, lake and stream products and services companies, Michigan based non-profit environmental organizations as well as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will host exhibits offering a plethora of free brochures and literature. Conference attendees are also invited to participate in the ML&SA annual banquet on Friday evening and the “bring in an aquatic plant or animal for identification” booth, silent auction and 50-50 raffle.

People interested in registering for the ML&SA 52nd Annual Conference may contact Sharon Wagner, ML&SA Central Office Manager, at e-mail: swagner@mlswa.org; or Scott Brown, ML&SA Executive Director at e-mail: sbrown@mlswa.org.  Annual conference information and registration forms are available for download from    https://www.mymlsa.org/mlsa-52nd-annual-conference

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 Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc., located in Stanton, Michigan, is a statewide non-profit, primarily volunteer organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Michigan’s freshwater resources. To learn more about ML&SA, visit the organization’s web site at  www.mymlsa.org



MSU Extension Offers Natural Shoreline Workshop

February 26, 2013 11:49

On SaturdaExample of natural shoreline project. Photo credit to Jim Bruecky, March 16, 2013, Michigan State University Extension is sponsoring a workshop designed to educate interested lakefront property owners on the importance of natural shoreline landscaping and the use of bioengineering techniques to provide erosion control.

Workshop topics include: Components of a healthy lake ecosystem; designing and maintaining natural landscapes on lake shorelines; using native plants in shoreline landscapes; attracting fish and wildlife to the shoreline; managing shoreline invasive species; and a review of state of Michigan rules and regulations to consider when planning a natural shoreline project.

Several local shoreline projects will be showcased to give participants a better idea of how to deal with their particular shorelines. Numerous educational displays also will be provided by partner organizations to give participants additional shoreline information and resources.

The workshop will be held at MSU Tollgate Education Center in Novi, Mich. Workshop registration is $45 per person on or before March 8, or $55 per person after. Registration includes morning refreshments, lunch, workshop handouts and a copy of MSUE Bulletin E3145, Natural Shoreline Landscapes on Michigan’s Inland Lakes: Guidebook for Property Owners. Visit the event page for complete registration details.



Lights

February 22, 2013 12:08

by Roger Carey

My wife and I bought on the lake with plans to get away from the lights, noise and congestion we came from. Why do people move to the lake then turn it into the place they came from?

The negative effects of light pollution on human activity are numerous. From an economic point of view, wasted light is wasted money and the switch to more conscientious lighting can put not just the night sky overhead in the black but also balance sheets. The International Dark-Sky Association figures about a third of outdoor lighting is wasted because of poorly designed and inefficient fixtures. It estimates that in the U.S. alone, the annual price tag for misdirected light is $10 billion. (We know of a person who just remodeled their house and now has over 15 recessed lights on the outside of the house alone. Why would you ever need over 15 outside lights?) more »



Register Now for the 3rd Annual Shoreline and Shallows Conference

February 5, 2013 14:00

The third annual Shoreline and Shallows Conference, a program of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP), will be presented Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at Michigan State University’’s Kellogg Center. Titled “Natural Shorelines and the Habitat Connection,” the one-day conference will highlight lake shore habitats, shoreline restoration and habitat improvement, plant selection and design with fluctuating lake levels, high energy sites, and the current status of the natural shoreline demonstration sites installed as part of the Certified Natural Shoreline Professional (CNSP) certification training. The cost to attend is $35, which includes lunch and coffee breaks. Three CNSP continuing education units are available for attending this conference. Conference co-sponsors, in addition to the MNSP, include the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Water Resources Division; Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University; MSU Extension Greening Michigan Institute; Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc., and the Michigan Chapter, North American Lake Management Society. For more information, contact Lois Wolfson, MSU Institute of Water Research at wolfson1@msu.edu or 517-353-9222. Click here for a complete conference agenda and a link to registering for the conference.



Governor Signs Bill to End “Pop-up” Property Tax Increase for Close Relatives

January 16, 2013 11:29

Good news coming out of Lansing for real estate owners wishing to transfer their home and/or real property to a spouse or child. On December 31, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed enrolled House Bill No. 4753 which amends the General Property Tax Act of 1893 (Public Act 206), to allow property transferred to a person related by blood or affinity to the first degree to retain its current taxable value. The newly revised law will allow real estate property owners to avoid  the property tax re-valuation, known as the “pop-up tax,” previously in effect when real property was transferred from one spouse to another or by a decedent to a surviving spouse. A first degree blood relation would include the spouse and children, and a first degree affinity would include stepchildren.

Under the old law, when a piece of real estate is transferred to a new owner (including family members), the taxable value generally “uncaps” to the true value of the property. Once you own a piece of real estate the taxable value cannot increase from one year to the next by more than 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, until that real estate is transferred to a new owner. The new law will make transferring a cottage or lakefront home, for example, more affordable for the close family recipients of the real property by maintaining property tax assessments at the lower levels “enjoyed” by the previous homeowner.

To read the entire amendment to Public Act 206, click here…



MSU Extension Offers Conservation Stewards Program

December 20, 2012 11:17

Michigan Conservation Stewards Program in Oakland County: Spring 2013 Session scheduled for February 23 to April 29, 2013

Are you looking for a great opportunity to learn about conservation and natural science and assume critical leadership roles through volunteering your time, knowledge, and skills in conservation management in your community? Individuals who take part in the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) can learn how to effectively take part in informed, scientifically based conservation and resource management and work to sustain healthy ecosystems across Michigan.

MSUE and its partners are offering this volunteer training and leadership program designed for individuals who are interested in natural resource conservation and ecosystem management, natural history, outdoor recreation, natural areas, the region’s environmental issues and challenges, and strategies to help restore and conserve ecosystems in Oakland County.

Topics include Conservation Heritage, Ecological Foundations, Making Choices to Manage Natural Resources, Emerging Ecosystem Issues, and Managing Forestlands, Grasslands, Wetlands, and Lake and Stream Ecosystems. There will also be a volunteer expo highlighting conservation opportunities available in southeastern Michigan. The series of classes, led by experts in various fields of conservation and natural resources, will include lectures, interactive learning and field experiences.

This intensive program consists of nine evening classes held from 6-9 pm on MONDAY EVENINGS (February 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 8, 15, 22, 29 (April 29th session runs from 6-10 pm) at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Rd, Waterford. Three ALL-DAY SATURDAY field sessions will be held from 9-4 pm on February 23 at the E.L. Johnson Nature Center, Bloomfield Hills; March 23 at Indian Springs Metropark, White Lake; and April 13 at Independence Oaks County Park, Clarkston.

Early Registration fee is $275/participant if application packet and payment are received on or before February 1, 2013. Late Registration fee is $300/participant if application packet and payment are received on or after February 2, 2013. Deadline to register is February 15, 2013. Space is limited. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis. Limited scholarships may be available.

Program partners include ITC Transmission, Michigan State University, the Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, Oakland County Planning and Economic Development Services, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, E.L. Johnson Nature Center, and Clinton River Watershed Council.

Become part of the network of dedicated, well-prepared volunteer Conservation Stewards who understand, actively contribute to or lead significant conservation management activities on public and private lands.

Obtain a brochure and an application packet online at:

http://www.oakgov.com/msu/Pages/classes_activities/natural_resources_classes.aspx

or call (248) 858-0887 to request registration materials by mail. The deadline to submit applications is February 15, 2013. Please call (248) 858-0887 for more information.



AS A RIPARIAN OWNER I’M STILL CONFUSED

December 18, 2012 16:25

Impervious surface is defined as a hard surface that either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil. Examples include, but are not limited to, structures, walkways, patios, driveways, carports, storage areas and concrete or asphalt paving. As communities become more urbanized, rooftops, roadways, and other impervious surfaces replace natural ground cover. As impervious surfaces increase, runoff increases and infiltration into the ground decreases, (with natural ground cover 40% of rainfall evaporates back into the sky, 50% soaks into the ground and 10% is runoff, with impervious surface 30% evaporates back into the sky, 15% soaks into the ground and 55% is runoff.) With an increase in imperviousness and the quantity of storm water runoff, there is generally a concurrent increase in the quantity of pollutants transported into our lakes. Just one-tenth of an inch of falling rain on a 1,000 square foot roof can fill 65 gallons of water. Low Impact Development is an approach to land development that uses various planning and design practices that protect natural resources. This is generally accomplished by controlling storm water at the source by preserving natural site features and by reducing impervious surfaces. (This information provided by the Website- Michiganlakeinfo, articles by Tony Groves).  more »



A Handbook for the Irish Hills’ Mud Lake

December 15, 2012 21:34

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations extends a hearty congratulations to George SanFacon and John Gajar of the Mud Lake Community Association for compiling, writing and publishing the “Mud Lake Handbook”, a well written and organized book dedicated to the natural history, ecology and community-based management of Mud Lake, a 119 acre freshwater gem located near Brooklyn, Michigan in the Irish Hills.

While the “Mud Lake Handbook” provides readers with an interesting and enlightening look at the natural and anthropological history of Mud Lake, the authors greatest contribution lies in the fact that they had the wisdom and foresight to provide a section emphasizing the importance of  building a sense of community whose energy can then be harnessed to effectively manage the ever changing lake.

A “Mud Lake Handbook” should serve as both a guide and an example to other lake associations in Michigan. In a state possessing over 11,000 relatively high quality inland lakes, the importance of the role of lake associations in managing our inland lakes cannot be overstated.

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations is hopeful that a “Mud Lake Handbook” will inspire others to create and document a basic inland lake management plan.  Less than one percent of the lake associations in Michigan have created a lake management plan to help guide their collective efforts to preserve the value of their lake and their personal investment in their lakefront homes.

The “Mud Lake Handbook” can be ordered from Charing Cross Press in Ann Arbor by calling 734-971-3455.

 



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