A Brief History of the Duck Lake Riparians‘ Association
Milfoil was first discovered on Duck Lake in June 2005 by a biologist who was doing a survey of the lake. A group of resident got together and drafted an informal plan to deal with this new invasive to the lake. This included soliciting donations for the costs that would be associated with professional chemical treatments and other eradication methods. This informal group carried out the first of the treatments, as well as organized some manual activities (diving, shoreline watch, etc.), and also began to pursue possible grants.
The informal Nuisance Aquatics Committee would periodically communicate with the lake residents via regular mail and e-mail. Included in one of those communications was a question as to whether a formal association should be re-started. There had been an association previously which had been disbanded. Residents were asked if they favored the idea, and whether they would be willing to serve. Bob Cascarano made a call to Doug Peterson, and stated "You are my first call of residents who said they would serve. Are you willing to run the effort to re-start an association?"
The Stouts held a lake party on August 8, 2009, to gather the lake residents in a social setting to further explain the challenges that would be faced by the milfoil infestation, and to gather support for a new association.
On September 5, 2009, a meeting was held at St. Albert's church and all lake residents were invited. Some ideas and costs were presented, and from the group attending it was agreed that a new association would be formed. Several residents formed an organizing committee and volunteered time toward the writing of by-laws, retention of an attorney, incorporation with the State of Michigan and the like. On December 6, 2009, the Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State. On December 23, 2009, a federal Tax ID number (FEIN) was established and the Duck Lake Riparians' Association was official.
On March 19, 2010, Doug Peterson sent a letter to all of the lake residents announcing that the association had been formed, and included the first application for membership. The response was good - about 50% of the lake residents joined during the first year. An application was made to the IRS for tax exempt status under article 501 (C) (3) of the IRS code, and was approved on May 11, 2010.
In addition to the milfoil control, the Association continues to actively pursued its purpose, namely: To improve, conserve and safeguard the overall welfare of the air, water and shorelines of Duck Lake in the county of Gogebic, State of Michigan. To assist local governments in the development and administration of regulations for the protection of the environment in the subject area. To promote social and recreational activities in the subject area.
Efforts included formation of the following committees:
- Water Quality
- Loon Protection
- Grant investigation & application
The DLRA has become well known in the area for its leading practices for controlling milfoil, and is active in several other associations, including the ISCCW and the Michigan Lakes & Streams Association.