Hello friends and neighbors! After a very rough winter, we are happy to see some sunshine and warm temperatures. This will be my last newsletter and last year as FLA president for a while. I need to step away from both to take care of some health issues. Doing the work has been a pleasure, and I hope to get back to the board when I’m feeling better.
In this newsletter, I’ve included a copy of the minutes (thanks, Janene!) from last year’s annual meeting. Please try to attend the next one on July 19th and encourage your neighbors to attend as well. We’re still trying to confirm our meeting speaker, but hopefully Peter Mills from the Maine Turnpike will be available to answer questions about the turnpike clearing and its effect on our lake neighborhood, particularly the loss of a sound barrier and what the MTA will do to resolve the increased noise pollution problem.
We’re also trying to get either a representative or some handouts on composting toilets. Last year, the board was informed that a septic/leach field failure had occurred on one of the islands. We immediately did water testing around the island (thank you Ed Keenan) which did NOT turn up positive for ecoli, and we contacted the Cumberland Code Enforcement officer. Remember, the FLA is not a policing force—we don’t have the authority to penalize for violations—but we do use lake association dues to pay for emergency water testing in cases like this, and we also try to resolve and prevent this type of event through public education. For others whose properties don’t readily support a septic/leach system, composting toilets might be a very reasonable option. New technology has made these toilets very affordable and sustainable. For others who might need a break on the costs of having septic pumped, we’ll have information at the annual meeting on discounts for group pumpings (usually four tanks).
Please also review the boating safety regulations in this newsletter. Remember—Maine law requires that motorized boats and personal watercraft maintain headway speed only when less than 200 feet from shore, including islands. This is extremely important both for swimmer safety and for shoreline erosion prevention.
Online… thanks to the skills of Debi Curry, we will soon have two new Forest Lake Maine online destinations: a brand new Forest Lake Maine website and our own Forest Lake Maine Facebook page. The website will be used for updating on meetings and issues and will have a subscription function. The facebook page will be a great place to post photos and friendly exchanges. Thank you Deb!!!!
Another reason to be careful on the water—we have a loon chick this year! Our breeding pair has had some trouble hatching an egg and nurturing a chick to adulthood. Last year’s loon chick disappeared mid-summer. Hopefully this year we’ll see the chick mature. Remember, the chick is left floating on its own while its parents dive for fish, so it might not be easy to spot. (photo below by Ed Keenan)
If you hear the loons crying or see parents rising from the water to flap their wings, know that you are too close to the chick and please back off. Personally, I love the loon calls at night in the summer and would be devastated if we lost our loon pair because the lake is too busy and crowded for our loons to breed.
NO Rinsing or Flushing of Boats After Ocean Voyages! Last summer, one of our board members noticed an odd activity on the south end of the lake… launching of large boats followed by bilging and washing of the boats in the lake. After some investigation, we determined that these boats were being cleaned out after spending some time in the ocean. The board member made a few phone calls… this is an ILLEGAL activity, and if it continues this year, code enforcement, DEP, and the warden will be notified. Especially with invasive species crossing from fresh to salt water, this is a very dangerous practice for the lake. If you see this happening by your shoreline, call code enforcement for your town (numbers provided in this newsletter).
See you at the annual meeting!