“In the Army you never volunteer for anything except certain death.” Or "No good deed goes unpunished." Now that we have our DNR "Permit to Destroy Aquatic Vegetation" approved, the DNR has come up with a long list of hoops for us to jump through.
First, to warn all of you who swim in, drink water from, use the lake's water for "domestic purposes," fish in, irrigate with, and water your livestock from Savage Lake, we have to post a bright orange notice on your property to keep you from doing those things in our lily-covered, mosquito and leech infested, nearly suffocated by invasive plants lake. Pretty freakin' hilarious. The form looks like this (except for being bright orange) and it will need to be posted everywhere a DNR inspector might look.
Second, 5 of the 12 applications for lake access were denied because the DNR guy stood in someone's backyard and looked for evidence that lake shore owners were using the lake recreationally. If you didn't have a boat in plain sight or you hadn't plowed your way through the weeds and lilies into the lake, leaving an obvious path of destruction, the DNR guy decided you weren't dedicated enough to enjoy our lake. If you really want access to the lake, you'll need to call Sean Sisler, the DNR's "Aquatic Plant Management Specialist" and plead with him to reconsider his decision. The stories I've heard of conversations with these DNR bureaucrats make me want to move to Montana and vote for the entire Libertarian party ticket.
Finally, Mr. Sisler has required us to do the spraying at a time convenient to another DNR bureaucrat, Steve Hanson, because he's convinced we're not as competent as one of the DNR's approved contractors and "the label is the law and the chemicals must be applied according to the label instructions." Having worked on several projects with Minnesota state and St. Paul city-approved contractors and the bureaucrats who mismanage them, I have to feel insulted.
The DNR has been a constant source of misinformation and obstruction regarding the damage they have done to our lake in the last decade and any hope of restoring Savage Lake to reasonable condition. I'm sure they will continue to provide this sort of nitpicking as we try to follow their constantly moving targets.
On the other hand our city manager, Joel Hanson, has really gone out of his way to help with this. He picked up and delivered the DNR forms and the chemicals today and provided us with a lot of useful information for using Dow's Rodeo herbicide. He is wrestling with the DNR over the denied access permits and has worked hard in our interests. If we get this done without more interference from the DNR, we should have a block party and make Joel a guest of honor.