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Six-County Lakes Meeting Focuses on Threats to Lakes & Resources Available

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Climate Change, Aquatic Invasive Species, and increasing development on shorelines are just some of threats facing lakes in the Northwoods.

“Lakes are facing a perfect storm of problems,” said Bob Martini, president of the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association.

He said for a long time they used to host a Six-County Lakes Meeting every other year to just keep people up to date on things impacting lakes.

10 years ago, they switch to every year because law changes meant lakes had less protection.

“The legislature and the then-governor changed the lake protection system dramatically in Wisconsin. They removed local control. They changed some of the standards. They started cutting the DNR. They really changed the zoning requirements. So we starting doing this conference yearly instead because there was so much information,” said Martini.

Martini says because of the lack of government protections, lakeshore landowners and water users need to step up and protect our lakes.

One of the major goals of the Lake meeting is to give people the resources and support to do that.

“We have short presentations like 15-to-20-minute presentation by various experts and then discussion by all the people assembled,” he said. “The goal here is to try and get as many people as possible as we can from the six counties representing lake associations so we can get across information to them and also learn from them what issues are important on their lake or in their county.”

The six counties are Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron.

Climate change, high water, development, and less state protections can all impact water quality in the Northwoods and will be addressed during the meeting.

“It’s important to everyone and we think it’s important to protect the water quality, because you can’t go back. You can improve the quality of a lake once its degraded. It’s not like a river. It’s not like the Wisconsin River that was severely degraded and we cleaned it up. River can cleanse themselves, lake’s can’t. It’s prevention only.”

It’s being held via zoom on Friday, July 16 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. You can find more information about on the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association website.

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