from Rick Thompson
Winter around Lake Leelanau has been pristine, interesting and entertaining. We have enjoyed observing a variety of wildlife including coyote, fox, deer, eagles, rabbits, and squirrels by the dozens, all foraging for food to sustain them through the winter. We have also enjoy hiking and numerous outings on snowshoes, cross country skis and snowmobiles. Many other folks have been enjoying these activities and ice fishing and kite skiing.
Lake Leelanau is a truly magical place to play in the winter. However, winter is nearly behind us. Spring is about to bring us sprouts from the hardy flowers and shrubs, more chatter from the winter bird population and the return of migratory birds. The days are significantly longer now versus last December and January. A few warm and sunny days are teasing us about the summer that will follow spring.
The Lake Leelanau watershed is a beautiful area that your lake association continues to study and protect. The Lake Association is actively working on three projects that will become more visible as we proceed into the spring and summer months. The three specific projects which the Lake Association identified as a high priority last year are the following:
- Water Quality Program — Wayne Swallow is now under contract to develop and manage a comprehensive water quality program that monitors lake conditions including invasive species identification and eradication. He will conduct zebra mussel, creel, and swimmers itch surveys and communicate prevention techniques.
- Boater Safety Education and Training — Training materials and training procedures are being identified for use later this year. The intent is to make the printed materials available to riparians and others who use Lake Leelanau for any type of boating activity. Training in a class room setting might also be offered.
- The website that makes available comprehensive information about the Lake Leelanau Lake Association is being improved for ease of use, modernization, and protection from unlawful modification. In addition, the data base that is maintained for tracking membership and mailing information will be improved for ease of use and accuracy.
An issue that is being followed closely by the Lake Association is the Federal Emergency Management Agencyʼs (FEMA) Flood Plain Study that includes the Lake Leelanau watershed. It is possible that riparian home ownersʼ insurance rates could be impacted significantly by the FEMA flood plain maps as currently drawn. Weʼll continue to track the FEMA activities and communicate information to you as it becomes available.
Our guiding goal for the Lake Leelanau Lake Association is to protect the lake and its surrounding watershed through education, communication, management, and proper use of the lake, the land, and the wildlife. We will continue to educate our board members
and communicate the knowledge we gain to all members, riparians, and others that enjoy and value this beautiful lake and shoreline. It is your continued support that allows us to do this.
Thank you for your support.