Lake Improvement Boards: A local approach to inland lake protection

New manual offers guidance on forming a lake improvement board. Manual is free and available to download.

Cover of Lake Management manualThe Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society (McNALMS) has posted a new manual, Lake Management in Michigan with a Lake Improvement Board.  This comprehensive document is available for free download

 Lack of local organization and leadership has been identified as a common barrier to inland lake management.  A lake improvement board can be set up by a local government to help the community manage an inland lake. The board is made up of local governmental officials and citizens who work together with the lake community to put in place an acceptable management program.

 The lake improvement board is established by a local government and operates under the provisions of Public Act 451 of 1994, Part 309. The board may undertake a wide range of projects, including preventing pollution and flooding, eliminating public health hazards, improving the lake’s habitat, improving the lake’s fishing, boating, swimming, and other recreational uses.

 A lake improvement board may be established by a local government (city, village, township or county) by passing its own resolution or when it receives a petition from two-thirds of lake property owners.  When the local government receives a validated petition it has 60 days to establish a Board.

 The lake improvement board consists of the following members:

  • A member of the county board of commissioners
  • The county drain commissioner
  • One or two representatives from each of the local governments (city, village, township) in which the lake is located
  • A property owner who owns land on the lake

Once formed, lake improvement boards are required by the law to conduct a variety of tasks. To learn more, review or download Lake Management in Michigan with a Lake Improvement Board. 

Lake communities interested in developing local leadership may also consider sending key people to the upcoming 2013 Lake & Stream Leaders Institute, a comprehensive leadership training sponsored by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations.  Applications are due March 30. 

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