Group Seeks Feedback from Canoeists and Kayakers

Waitsfield, Vt. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) isaquatic invasive seeking public input in the development of a paddler specific protocol to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants and animals. Aquatic invasives can hitchhike on boats, paddles and other gear and be transported to water bodies that currently do not have problems with these non-native species.

According to Walter Opuszynski, Trail Director for the NFCT, "It is extremely important that we come together as a paddling community to manage aquatic invasives. Along the Trail thirty-nine transitions have been identified that we are evaluating for further action. Many of these locations are ideal for signage that expresses good aquatic invasive spread prevention protocol. Our challenge is to build on work done by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and develop a process we can explain in a simple message that paddlers will use."

The public is being asked to help develop a clear paddler specific message for paddlers explaining how to effectively prevent the spread of invasive species.

"This is all about being effective stewards of the Trail and the lakes, rivers and streams of our region. As more people head out for a day of paddling we need to take care that we help keep these amazing resources available for the next generation", said Opuszynski.

Thanks to support from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), NFCT is working with land and water resource managers, aquatic invasive experts and the paddling community to identify simple, effective steps paddlers can take to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic invasives. These steps will result in signage placed at areas where paddlers will be making a land to water transition.

Through an LCBP grant the NFCT has contracted Landslide Natural Resource Planning to facilitate a process that will allow all stakeholders to be involved and heard. If you would like to participate in this process by giving feedback through a survey or serving in a work group please contact Amy Sheldon at [email protected] or (802)388-9278.

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The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a 740-mile inland paddling trail tracing historic travel routes across New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire, and Maine. Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc. is internationally regarded as the preeminent water trail organization in North America, and connects people to the Trail’s natural environment, human heritage, and contemporary communities by stewarding, promoting, and providing access to canoe and kayak experiences along this route.

To learn more about paddling the NFCT, to become a member, and to purchase a guidebook and maps, visit http://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org or call 802-496-2285.

Contact: Walter Opuszynski, Trail Director
Northern Forest Canoe Trail
802 496-2285, [email protected]

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