Western governors want federal help in invasive mussel fight

Saturday, 04 November 2017, 11:23:25 AM. BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Governors of 19 Western states are pressing the federal government to do more to prevent the spread of damage-causing invasive mussels from infected federally managed waterways. The Western Governors' Association on Thursday sent a letter urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to put in place by spring 2018 controls to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels. The
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Governors of 19 Western states are pressing the federal government to do more to prevent the spread of damage-causing invasive mussels from infected federally managed waterways. The Western Governors' Association on Thursday sent a letter urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to put in place by spring 2018 controls to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels. The governors are also asking that federal agencies conduct mandatory inspections and decontamination of boats leaving infected water bodies. The mussels can attach to boats and trailers and travel long distances, clogging water pipes, damaging boat motors and affecting other aquatic life. "Given the significant risks that quagga and zebra mussels pose to uninfested waterbodies, it is critical to implement effective control policies in a timely manner," the letter states. The governors say they're particularly concerned about the mussels reaching the Columbia River Basin, Lake Tahoe, and the Colorado River Basin above Lake Powell. The Interior Department has said that hydroelectric projects infested with the mussels might require an additional $500,000 in annual maintenance. The Pacific Northwest gets much of its power from hydro projects, so an infestation could increase the cost of electricity. Many states have spent millions and continue to do so to keep the mussels out. Some have set up mandatory checkpoints near borders to intercept boats for inspections, including Idaho, which...Read more
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