RANGELEY – For the 16th year, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust will conduct courtesy boat inspections at public boat launches in the Rangeley Lakes region. The inspections are the main part of an educational program that engages the public by teaching them to inspect boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals.
Each year the courtesy boat inspections are funded through voters in local municipalities, grants, and donations. Inspectors cover launches on the larger bodies of water like Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic and Rangeley Lakes.
Invasive plants can be devastating on a water body and local economy. A tiny fragment or a single seed carried on a boat trailer or fishing gear can start an infestation. Invasive aquatic species are self-sustaining and can double in size within a single year, often out-competing beneficial native plants. They have no natural predators and left alone can fill in shorelines with mats of thick fronds, making lakes unsuitable for swimming or boating.
Rangeley’s lakes and ponds are an extremely valuable economic resource as well as a natural resource. They contribute to the enjoyment of many Maine residents, they help relive property tax burdens on local people in rural communities, and they support substantial economic activity. Protecting water quality is beneficial to everyone who cares for the Rangeley Lake Region.
A Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust boat inspector checks a trailer at Rangeley’s Town Park.