Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vermont’s Class 1 & 2 Wetlands

From the image on the left, you can see that we live in northern Vermont. There is a beaver bog across the road from us (which I have circled in yellow) that is the glory of our lives. But we are installing a new septic system and needed to learn the laws about wetlands so that we will not endanger the bog. Click on the images to see them full size (large enough to read). They will open in a new tab or window.

Our septic engineer told us that our bog was a Class 2, mapped wetland. I finally did what I should have done years ago: I searched the Internet for information on our bog. Below you will find a larger map of the bog. If you want a map of the mapped wetlands in your town in Vermont, click here on index of /wrp/rulemaking/wetlands2010/maps.

After reading Bernd Heinrich books about his activities in wetlands, I have always wanted to explore the bog on foot and in a boat. But I never knew if exploration was legal. I also didn’t want to disrupt the lives of the animals in the bog. Now that John lives here, life is active exploration not passive observation, so I found all I needed to know at Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation Water Quality Division Wetlands Section.

For Wetlands Factsheets click on Vermont Wetlands Section — Wetlands Factsheets. I learned from the Factsheet 6 that we can explore, gather samples, quietly use the boat, and even walk in the bog. Naturally, we have to be careful of the nesting birds.

Explore all of the topics and links in the Vermont Wetlands Section.

One of the best resources at these sites in the Vermont Significant Wetland Inventory Maps. You can create your own map of your own area of Vermont with as much detail of the life and resources in your area as you desire. You have to read and learn a lot in order to properly make a map, which is a disadvantage to those of you who, like me, wildly click away and quickly become frustrated. But go to the Environmental Interest Locator to begin your map. A pop-up window will appear (be sure to allow pop-ups for this site). Then click on Launch Map Viewer. A new window with the mapping application will open on your screen. If you are familiar with Google Earth, you will now know what to do. There is a tutorial for the making your map. You can also make PDF files of your results.

These are invaluable resources for any Vermonter who lives or explores bogs.

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