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Property Value Impact

Another impact is to the value of your property.  If the clarity of water is reduced due to phosphorus loading from CLP die-offs, or dense weeds, it has been shown to impact your investment.

Parson and Patrick Welle, a BSU professor of economics and environmental studies, co-authored a study titled “Lakeshore Property Values and Water Quality” and released the findings in June of 2004.

Their conclusion: The better the water clarity in a lake, the higher the value of the land around that lake. Researchers at BSU calculated how much property values would rise or fall on 37 north-central Minnesota lakes if water clarity improved or worsened. They examined 1,205 residential property sales from 1996 to 2001. Land values were compared with water-clarity data for those lakes. Water clarity is a measure of how deep you can see into a lake.

In general, Welle said, lakeshore owners can figure one meter (a little more than three feet) of improvement in clarity is worth $50 to $60 per frontage foot of lakeshore. Frontage foot is a common way to measure lakeshore property, measuring the number of feet fronting the lake.

Welle said that number varies greatly from lake to lake, however.  Leech Lake near Walker, for example, is clear to about 10 feet. The study projected that if clarity improved to 13 feet, the lake’s property value would rise by $423 for each foot of frontage. For 50 feet of lakeshore, that’s an increase in value of more than $20,000.  If Leech’s clarity was reduced by one meter, it would reduce values by almost $600 per frontage foot, the study says.


In New England, where tourism is crucial, the matter is more important than simple green politics. The Berkshire Eagle reported that a study of property values at Cheshire, Mass.'s Hoosac Lake, which suffered a milfoil siege, showed the worth of one lakefront acre dropping to an average of $45,000 from $90,000 in three years.

In Idaho:  Allowing the infestation to continue could devastate Idaho's economy, the officials said. The state's recreation industry brings in about $2.3 billion a year, and "there is not a whole lot of recreation that is not attached to this particular resource, which is our beautiful and pristine waters in the state of Idaho," Matt Voile, noxious weed program manager for the Idaho Department of Agriculture.

"It's the silent monster in the noxious weed group," said Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, who's leading an effort to get more money and government attention to fight the weed. "It's probably the biggest environmental hazard to this state that exists today. “Property values could drop if the weed inhibits use of nearby lakes.”