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Commissioners to allow Sutherland vote for weed tax

July 9th, 2014 - 3:34pm

(Port Angeles) - Clallam County Commissioners have agreed to allow a vote by Lake Sutherland property owners whether to renew an annual 50 dollar per parcel tax to control a pesky invasive weed.

Clallam County noxious weed control coordinator Cathy Lucero told Commissioners past efforts to remove the fast growing underwater plant known as Eurasian watermilfoil have been successful, but more control is needed to prevent its growth in the 300-acre lake, west of Port Angeles.

Watermilfoil grows into thick underwater tangles and vast mats on the surface of the water.

Fragments can drift away in late summer, then sink and create new plants.

Milfoil can also be carried from lake to lake on boats, trailers and fishing gear.

However, Lucero says the Lake Sutherland controls have kept the watermilfoil out of Lake Crescent and other Clallam lakes.

In 2000, Eurasian watermilfoil was discovered in Lake Sutherland during a survey by the state Department of Ecology.

In 2004, area residents formed a management district when a state grant to control the plant expired.

In 2005, a lightweight landscape fabric was rolled into the lake bottom by volunteers in areas where the weed was growing.

The fabric acted as a barrier to prevent the watermilfoil from spreading to other areas of the Lake.

Weed pulls usually take place after the month of May, when the Eurasian watermilfoil is distinguished from a native variety of the plant that is not harmful.

The lake management district was renewed in 2009 at the same annual rate of 50 dollars.

Ballots will be mailed Friday to those with lakefront property or have direct access to the lake.

Ballots are due by 5 p.m. August 11th.

They can be mailed to the Commissioners office or dropped off in Room 150 at the County Courthouse.

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