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Back in late May I posted about the CLA’s plans to participate in the State’s Courtesy Boat Inspection program, which is administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. It has taken a while, but we have finally received a date for Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) training: Monday July 1st at 3:30 pm at Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust in Damariscotta which is located right across the road from Hammond Lumber Co. on Business Route One. The address is 3 Round Top Lane, Damariscotta ME 04348. This training is a joint venture of Midcoast Conservancy and Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust and is being provided free-of-charge.
What do courtesy boat inspectors do? The program is really an educational one. As boaters launch and remove their boats from the water, CBIs will discuss with boaters how invasive aquatic plants spread, show how to inspect boats and equipment for plant fragments, urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch, distribute information about invasive plants, and articulate Maine law regarding the transport of these plants.
We need volunteers! Our goal is to line up enough Courtesy Boat Inspectors to be able to cover the State boat launch on Clary Lake during the “busy” hours (7 AM to 3 PM) on weekends, as those are the days that typically see the most boat traffic. Typically volunteers would sign up for 2 hour shifts, and inspections would continue through Labor Day. If you’re interested in helping out with this important initiative, please contact the Secretary.
Major MacDonald was born in Gardiner, Feb. 26, 1947, the son of the late Mrs. Marian Graffam of Rome, N.Y., and the late Judge Paul A. MacDonald, of Woolwich, Maine.
He was educated at Higgins Classical Institute in Charleston and The University of Maine in Augusta. He also graduated from many Army service schools and won numerous journalistic awards as editor of Guardlife Magazine.
He was also a retired major in the U.S. Army Reserve, having risen in the ranks as an enlisted man, non-commissioned officer, company grade and field grade officer. Major MacDonald was a U.S. Army combat correspondent in 1971 and 1973. He also covered fighting in Laos and Cambodia. Continue reading →
In a decision that should come as a surprise to no one, the Board of Environmental Protection after listening to comments from Aquafortis Associates LLC [AQF] and others, summarily denied AQF’s appeal of the December 2018 DEP Order transferring the Clary Lake Water Level Order to the Clary Lake Association. The Board also denied several parties requests for a public hearing. So the DEP Transfer Order stands.
The information-gathering portion of the hearing lasted over 2 hours, the bulk of which was used by attorney for AQF Dennis Carrillo to explain and justify AQF’s appeal; this was a non-testimonial hearing and the record was closed which means all of AQF’s attempts to supplement the record with additional material were for naught. After AQF spoke, CLA President Malcolm Burson issued a short statement on the Association’s position- basically that we filed a satisfactory application and did everything right and in a timely fashion and that we applaud the Department’s decision to transfer the Order to us. Finally, counsel for DEP spoke briefly stating their opinion that the DEP had covered all the bases and that the CLA transfer application was deemed satisfactory and complete. The Board then asked if there were any additional comments; Butch Duncan spoke briefly about his desire for a public hearing, and Paul Kelley spoke about why the thinks the Clary Lake Association lacks sufficient Right, Title, and Interest in the Clary Lake dam to operate it, an argument that Mr. Carrillo also attempted to make. The Board however correctly observed that there is a forum for resolving title issues, and they aren’t it.
The Board deliberated for all of about 2 minutes before issuing their unanimous decision denying the appeal.
A number of CLA Board members and several Clary Lake Association members attended the hearing. I have no idea how many people if any listened in on the DEP Virtual Meeting Room, if you did I’d be interested in hearing your reactions.
Just a reminder that the Board of Environmental Protection hearing on Aquafortis Associates LLC’s appeal of the DEP’s Transfer Order is tomorrow, Thursday June 6 at 9:00 AM at the Augusta Civic Center. This hearing is the result of an appeal filed by Richard Smith of Aquafortis Associates LLC back in December 2019 and was originally scheduled for May 16th but was rescheduled at the last minute to June 6th at the request of counsel for AQF. You might want to review the previous posts on this matter for more information; here are the two most recent:
The Loons are nesting in the traditional location in the deep inlet on the north shore of the lake, the same place they nested last year, but deeper in the cove because of the higher water. I spotted the location on May 30th, and it is well hidden: if I hadn’t seen one of the loons hanging around the area, I’d never have known it was there. I was able to get one (not very good) photograph of the loons on the nest (below). In previous years, fluctuating water levels have made successful nesting a real challenge with the biggest risk being flooding due to a rapid rise in water level. The good news this year is the lake level is already at the High Water Mark and stable, so even if we get heavy rains, the lake level won’t rise enough to flood the nest. Continue reading →
I have archived the May 2019 Water Level Chart (at left). The most notable thing about this chart is that it shows the lake level hovered around the Normal High Water Mark for the entire month, something that hasn’t happened since last month 🙂 More to the point, this is the last in this hand-made series of water level charts that I’ll be producing. I’ve been threatening to stop making these charts for a while, but old habits are hard to break. This time I’m really done. I started 8 years ago in January 2012 at the start of our long water level crisis. The introduction of the new Dam Operation Log however with its own automatically generated charts and graphs has made these traditional charts a duplicated (and wasted) effort. I have better things to do now and I just can’t justify the time and effort to continue making them. Since starting recording water level measurements in December 2011, I’ve made 2700 individual water level measurements and posted 101 Monthly water level charts. It’s the end of an era, and about time!
The Current Water Level Charts page will remain but with a new look and sporting new automatically-generated charts and graphs from the Dam Operations Log.
Finally, it was a wet month. We received 3.88 inches of rain for the month, slightly more than the average for May. For the year at 15.96″ which is right about where we’re supposed to be.
With the State boat launch back in service, our concerns rightly turn to protecting Clary Lake from the chance introduction of invasive aquatic plant species. To that end, the Clary Lake Association is gearing up to start participating in Maine’s Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program starting this summer, and we’re going to need volunteers! While there are various ways invasive plants can make it into lakes, by far the most common transport mechanism is on boats and trailers. Sadly, there are a number of lakes in the State with an invasive aquatic plant problem including several nearby lakes. The goal will be to have enough people lined up and trained so that the boat launch can be covered during the weekends to inspect boats and trailers before they they put in the lake, to make sure there are no invasive plants hitching a ride. Continue reading →
There was one regrettable casualty of the otherwise successful site migration: the list of 50+ or so people who had signed up to receive email notices of new website posts was lost. This list was maintained by WordPress so I have no idea who was subscribed or what email addresses were used. If you were on that list and want to get back on that list, you’ll have to resubscribe. Look for the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” form on the sidebar. Just enter your email address, respond to the “Confirm your subscription for Clary Lake Association” email you’ll receive, and you’ll be back on the list. If you’re viewing the site’s mobile theme on a phone or tablet, first look for the “View Full Site” link at the bottom of the main page and then you’ll be able to subscribe. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Yesterday morning I posted about plans to migrate the Clary Lake Association website to a new platform. Ironically, in the process of completing the move, that posted got wiped out. I’m happy to report that we completed the migration around midnight last night without any major problems, though as predicted, the Clarycams broke spectacularly. We got those working this morning.
We’ve made no significant changes to the content on the site, but everyone should notice a significant decrease in page load times. Page load speeds have been reduced partly thanks to faster hardware but also to site optimization. We’ll be making some additional optimizations over the next week or so which should help improve site performance. If anyone has any issues with the site, you know how to reach me.