The Otter Creek Watershed Insect Control District (OCW), formerly known informally as the BLSG, serves the member towns of Brandon, Goshen, Leicester, Pittsford, and Salisbury. The district was organized in 1978 under Title 24 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated § 4861 – 4866 in response to a strongly supported local demand that something be done about the nuisance mosquito problem in the area. Spread throughout those towns are nearly 16,000 acres of Class 2 wetlands and extensive forested areas, all of which are mosquito breeding habitat. Also in the district are active summer resort areas around Lake Dunmore and Fern Lake which are very important to the local economy. Located on Lake Dunmore are Branbury State Park, a Vermont Fish and Wildlife boat launch, Kampersville and Waterhouse campgrounds, and environmental boys’ and girls’ camps operated by the Keewaydin Foundation. This is in addition to the numerous year-round and summer homes that surround both lakes. Obviously, mosquito populations can have a profound effect on enjoyment of the lakes… and outdoor summer activities elsewhere in the district.
Our mission as a union municipal district is to control nuisance mosquito and biting fly populations in member towns. Ongoing, effective insect control is critical to maintaining the quality of life that people in this area expect. To accomplish our mission, the OCW uses a variety of methods (referred to as Integrated Pest Management) in a manner consistent with the highest level of safety and minimal adverse impacts on humans, wildlife, and the environment, including non-target organisms. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (ANR DEC) issues a Pesticide General Permit (under the aegis of the U.S. Clean Water Act) that allows the OCW to use pesticides in and around the State’s waters. That permit, renewed every five years, is supplemented by detailed comprehensive Regulations for the Control of Pesticides that are promulgated by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM).
The OCW is funded by the taxpayers of the five member towns, a larvicide program grant from the VAAFM, a donation from the Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association, and a contract for services that the OCW provides to the Town of Proctor.
The OCW is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of two representatives and an alternate representative appointed by each member town’s Select Board. If you are interested in serving on the OCW Board please contact the Chair of your town’s Select Board.
The OCW is thankful for the ongoing steady support provided by the Select Boards and citizens of member towns. Communication and cooperation with property owners, other residents, ANR DEC, and VAAFM are critical components in the OCW’s effort to reduce and control biting insect populations in a safe, effective, and environmentally sensitive manner.