Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), first noted in this state in 1977, impairs the beneficial uses of many lakes and rivers in Washington, including Lake Osoyoos, the Okanogan River, the Columbia River as far downstream as Crescent Bar, the Pend Oreille River, Lake Washington, Banks Lake, and also to a lesser degree Lake Sammamish, Lake Whatcom as well as other lakes in Western Washington and the Columbia Basin. The spread of milfoil threatens hydropower generation, fisheries resources, and recreational uses of the waters. Since 1980, the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have operated a cooperative, cost-shared program of milfoil control and prevention in conjunction with local sponsors. Seventy percent is paid by the Corps of Engineers with the local sponsor and the Department of Ecology providing the other thirty percent. While this cooperative program has sought to control milfoil in lakes and other river stretches, the extent and cost of the program have increased each year, and it has become increasingly difficult for the state and local sponsors to provide necessary funding.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John Spellman, Governor of the State of Washington, do hereby order and direct that:
A. An interagency task force on Milfoil Control is hereby established, composed of the Directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Ecology, Game and the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Supervisor of the Department of Natural Resources. The Director of the Department of Ecology shall chair the task force.
B. The task force shall invite participation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, and such local agencies as appropriate in the task force functions.
C. The interagency task force on Milfoil Control shall:
- 1. Examine and evaluate the existing Milfoil Control program;
- 2. Evaluate the potential economic impacts of the spread of Milfoil;
- 3. Investigate the feasibility of increased state involvement in financing, managing, and evaluating new control methodologies;
- 4. Conduct public meetings at which interested and affected citizens may express views on the extent and seriousness of the milfoil problem and the environmental impacts of various control methodologies;
- 5. Formulate recommendations by December 1, 1983, for future milfoil control programs. These should identify the appropriate state lead agency, the resources needed to provide a continued cost-share program with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and any legislative action needed to implement an expanded program.