County seeks money to protect inland lakes and stream from invasionState grants to combat invasive species are up. The share counties have to pay is down.
By: Shelley Nelson, The Daily Telegram
State grants to combat invasive species are up.
The share counties have to pay is down.
The two factors weighed in on the Douglas County Board’s decision Thursday to seek money through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to continue the fight against aquatic invasive species in the county’s inland lakes and streams.
The board considered a resolution not originally included in the agenda to meet the Feb. 1 deadline for submitting an application. The resolution, publicized in time to meet the requirements of Wisconsin’s open meeting law, is needed to apply for the grant.
Supervisor Kay McKenzie said the late submission of the resolution was to give conservation officials a chance to meet with members of lake associations throughout the county.
“We had approved it earlier to go ahead and apply for this grant, but because of scheduling conflicts we weren’t able to have the meeting until yesterday (Wednesday) with the lake association and DNR folks,” said Christine Ostern, the county’s conservation officer. “At that meeting, we found out we had to include this resolution as part of the grant application.”
The grant changed this year and the state put more into this grant fund, Ostern said. While the matching funds local government had to provide last year was 50 percent of the total, this year the county only has to provide a 25 percent match, she said.
Ostern said lakes associations throughout the county are planning to contribute time to match the grant with in-kind service to help the county meet its obligation. The county’s conservation office will also provide in kind service to pay the $25,000 the county would have to provide to receive $75,000 in grant funding.
Part of the program would include hosting workshops over the summer, and the time people spend attending the workshop can be included in the county’s share of the matching funds, Ostern said.
The grant would help Douglas County share information and education the public about invasive species, and give people the tools to stop the spread of the aquatic invaders.
“It is imperative on you to organize these folks,” Supervisor Carol Johnson told Ostern. “I’m willing to help and support this, but we need your help in organizing this.”
Johnson said she realizes lake associations in the county take the threat very seriously and are taking a very active role in combating the invasive species.
Shelley Nelson can be reached at (715) 395-5022 or email@example.com.