Property Owner's Association
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Environmental Committee

Mission Statement:

While serving under the direction of the HLPOA Board, act as a point of contact for HLPOA
members and other interested parties. Serve as a coordinating group to approve dedicated funds
for various programs to maintain or improve the water quality and associated environmental factors
affecting Higgins Lake.

Key Initiatives for 2017 – 2018:

  1. To actively recruit HLPOA member and non-member volunteers to work with the committee and add to the committee’s knowledge base and diversity.
  2. To define a Base Line Assessment Plan for Higgins Lake, evaluating methodology, cost and timing for projects to be approved by the HLPOA board. There is currently no credible data available regarding the near shore waters and lake bottom environment, and only anecdotal evidence concerning members’ feelings about changes in the lake through the years. The committee feels it is important to obtain a current scientifically credible baseline of the near shore environment to effectively address and measure future efforts to improve the situation. Seeking funds specifically to collect and organize the baseline data has been deemed appropriate by the HLPOA board.
  3. To encourage and support the efforts of he Swimmers Itch Solutions LLC on Higgins Lake and the Michigan Swimmer’s Itch Partnerships (MISIP) ongoing efforts to control the swimmer’s itch parasite. This initiative coincides with the resolution passed at the July 18, 2015 Annual Meeting by the members.
  4. To encourage and support the lake levels established by the Roscommon County Circuit Court in 1926 and 1982 and work to counter any actions taken to remove or alter the Cut River dam or those lake levels in any manner.This initiative coincides with the resolution passed at the July 20, 2013 Annual Meeting by the members.
  5. To assist and develop informational programs and communications that will help property owners do things on their own that will benefit the lake in areas under their own personal control, such as landscaping, septic maintenance and erosion remediation techniques.
  6. To assist and develop communication with organizations that compliment HLPOA’s efforts and to share beneficial aspects with our membership by our participation to protect, perserve, and enhance the quality of Higgins Lake and its surrounding watershed.

Copper Sulfate Resolution Approved by Members – July 15, 2107:

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the Higgins Lake Property Owners Association is not in favor of individuals or agencies using copper sulfate for any purpose in any public or privately owned areas of Higgins Lake. It is further resolved that the HLPOA board will work with the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources so as to be apprised of any approved copper sulfate applications past, current and proposed future.
Copper sulfate remains for a very long time in the lake due to it being an inorganic compound. Copper sulfate applications may have implications for current and future lake environmental studies. Potential unintended consequences to humans, short term and long term damage to lake organisms such as bacteria, algae, mollusks, invertebrates and plants are of great concern.

The science behind the HLPOA’s position against the use of copper sulfate in Higgins Lake for any reason is well described in the following article from “Inspired by Nature”.  Please click on the following link to view the article:

Presentation Made at July 2017 Annual Meeting:

Attached below are two documents presented by Fred Swinehart – Chair, Environmental Committee at the July 2017 Annual Meeting.  The first is the Committee’s Mission Statement and a summary of its key objectives.  The second is a Board resolution regarding its position against the use of Copper Sulfate.

Environmental Bulletins:

As the Environmental Committee prepares bulletins on various environmental and ecological topics pertinent to Higgins Lake and the surrounding watershed, they will be published here.  Below are the first three such bulletins.

Presentation made at the July 2016 HLPOA Annual Meeting:

Attached below is a presentation by David Batchelor at the 2016 HLPOA Annual Meeting:

Landscaping for Wildlife and Water Quality:

At the July 16, 2016 Annual Meeting, the Chair of the Environmental Committee mentioned the document: “Landscaping for Wildlife and Water Quality.”  It was published by the Nongame Wildlife Program – Section of Wildlife, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Copies of this document can be ordered by contacting:

Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive St, St Paul, MN 55155

or calling 800-657-3757 or 651-297-3000.

Here is the Minnesota DNR website link:

Listed below are documents prepared by the Environmental Committee, beginning in 2015: