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*****PRESS RELEASE*****  
February 3, 2006


LAKE GASTON - Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board (LGSB) completes weed management plan – Public Forums scheduled for February and March


Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board (LGSB) Chairman Pete Deschenes has announced that after a year’s worth of hard work, the Stakeholders Board has completed a comprehensive weed management plan for Lake Gaston. The plan, titled “Managing Aquatic Plants in Lake Gaston” has as its goal “to develop and maintain a healthy lake ecosystem based on a diverse plant community dominated by native species.”


According to Deschenes, the plan calls for a combination of weed treatment methods, primarily chemicals and grass carp, and outlines assessment programs, costs, and a communication plan. The entire plan may be reviewed on the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council Web site at http://www.lgwcc.org


In conjunction with the communication portion of the plan, Deschenes says that the only remaining item to complete the plan and set it in motion is input from the property owners surrounding the lake. To that end a series of public forums will be held throughout the area to exchange information and ideas with citizens interested in learning more about managing aquatic plants in Lake Gaston.


The forums are scheduled as follows:


Feb 16/Thursday, 7 p.m. -
                Ebony VFD, Robinson Ferry Road, Ebony, VA

Feb 25/Saturday, 1 p.m. -
                Littleton Community Center, 225 Oak Street, Littleton, NC

Mar 16/Thursday, 4 p.m. -
                Central Lifesaving & Rescue Squad, 5736 Gasburg Rd, Gasburg, VA

Mar 30/Thursday, 7 p.m. -
               Longbridge VFD, Eaton's Ferry Road, Littleton, NC


Explained Deschenes, "We are hosting these meetings during different times of the day and at different locations in an effort to accommodate the schedules of those who wish to attend.  The substance of each forum will be the same, so if you can't attend one, you can attend another."


Each forum will lead off with a presentation of the long-term action plan, including how the LGSB is organized and conducts its business, the means by which the LGSB will publicize the plan, current and projected funding sources and figures, and noxious weed treatment methodologies.


"A panel of experts from NC Wildlife Resources, the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the LGSB Technical Advisory Group will be on hand to respond to citizen comments and concerns, said Deschenes.  "I cannot emphasize enough that the most important purpose of holding these meetings is to listen to what the public has to say."


For further information about the forums, call Doug Hughes, LGSB Communications Chair, at (252) 586-2700, or e-mail lggnews@lakegastongazette.com.