HOW AND WHY WAS THE BLIB ESTABLISHED?
In the late summer of 2006, the DNR discovered Eurasian milfoil-EWM (Myriophyllum spicatum) in Bear Lake. The DNR has instructed the Bear Lake Property Owners Association (BLPOA) to begin work to treat the EWM as soon as possible.
EWM can be extremely harmful to the ecological balance of Bear Lake. It has a fast growth rate, and can exist in a variety of environmental conditions, due to the prolific nature of the plant, and the fact that it also reproduces via seed and fragmentation that roots in the lakebed. Both self-fragmentation and fragmentation from boat traffic cause spread in other parts of the lake. EWM has been spotted in many lakes in the United States and specifically Michigan. Bear Lake is but one of many that have begun the effort to control it.
The President of the BLPOA established a Community Council to Control Milfoil (CCCM) with representatives of the 3 municipalities that surround Bear Lake and community groups such as BLPOA, Promoters, Trigenta, Lions, the golf course and others. The CCCM met at least 10 times over a period of months. They researched EWM, how other lakes treated EWM, how it and other invasive species can be managed, laws to treat lakes, and other invasive species that may invade Bear Lake in the future.
Information was shared with the community and discussed among the CCCM as well as with the officials of the 3 municipalities. The group concluded that they would like to establish a Lake Improvement Board (LIB) under 1994 PA 451, part 309. This act allows for properties to be assessed for costs to study the lake, payment of legal services, and treatment of the lake. The continual study of the lake was viewed as extremely important as future problems can be minimized if corrected quickly.
The CCCM invited all officials of the 3 municipalities that border Bear Lake (Village of Bear Lake, Bear Lake Township and Pleasanton Township) to attend a meeting. In mid-July, 2007, the attorney and marine biologist retained by the CCCM presented to the municipality officials as well as their attorneys the reasons that a LIB was needed. Subsequently, each municipality board on their own motion voted unanimously to approve the creation of a LIB. (Enabling Legislation)
The first meeting of the LIB was held on August 30, 2007.