It may not be possible to protect all vernal pools during forest management activities. In Maine, vernal pools are also defined by the animals that use them for breeding, including the following indicator species: Vernal pools are small (usually less than an acre), have no permanentinlet and no viable populations of predatory fish. These wetlands range in size from small puddles to shallow lakes and are usually found in a gently sloping plai… This dataset was developed in accordance with Maine's Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). … Our lab has been working on vernal pool education, outreach and research since the early 1990s when “vernal pool” was not yet a household word (either as a curse or a blessing!). Vernal pool ecosystems are particularly hard to conserve as they are inextricably intertwined with adjacent forested habitat for the pool breeding amphibians [e.g., wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and ambystomatid salamanders (Ambystoma spp.)] To use the Maine VP SAMP, an applicant pays a fee to the municipality which is then transferred to a 3rd party land conservation organization. – For those of you with vernal pools or potential vernal pools on your own properties, bundle up, put on rain gear and boots, gather headlamps and flashlights, and check out your pools! Interested in knowing more about the life history of animals that use vernal pools and how vernal pools and different from other wetlands? Avoid vernal pools and associated management zones when planning roads and log landings. You will find a variety of resources on vernal pool ecology, the animals that breed in and use vernal pools, an explanation of state and federal regulations pertaining to vernal pools, and materials developed to assist you with field assessments and local mapping projects. Are you looking for more information about vernal pools? 1, 2007, vernal pools identified as significant vernal pool2 habitat are protected by the Natural Resources Protection Act, (§ 38 MRSA 480-B), administered through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s, Bureau of Land and Water Quality. These pools are characteristic of Mediterranean climates, but occur in many other ecosystems. Want to learn to identify amphibian egg masses or how to tell the difference between fairy shrimp and mosquito larvae? Over the years we have developed and coordinated citizen science programs for mapping and assessing vernal pools, developed educational materials including videos and digital presentations, manuals, and children’s coloring books, and provided outreach presentations about vernal pool ecology and management to a vast array of audiences including town, state, and federal governments, garden clubs, land trusts, and annual meetings of various stakeholders. We are also grateful for the research, educational materials, and photography of our faculty and graduate and undergraduates students over the decades and for their dedication to conservation of wetlands. What do I do once I identify a vernal pool? The Maine Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan (Maine VP SAMP) is voluntary mitigation option for projects impacting vernal pools in a specified area called the Designated Development Area. Vernal pools are a type of wetland. and P. deMaynadier. Are you a landowner, town official, developer, or resource manager or service provider? Observations should be accompanied by photographs (labeled with observer Between March and June leave debris that falls in accidentally to avoid disturbing breeding activity and development of young. We hope this website will provide the resources on vernal pool ecology, identification of pools and species, regulation, and strategies for conservation developed from evidence-based science needed for others to actively conserve pools either as a landowner or at a wider scale. Juvenile and adult amphibians associated with vernal pools provide an important food source for small carnivores as well as large game species. Maine Forest Service DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION 22 State House Station Augusta, ME04333-0022 (207) 287-2791, Maine Forestry 2007 - All rights reserved. The Maine Forest Service promotes the use of voluntary habitat management guidelines for the protection of important vernal pools during timber harvest operations. Rain and melting snow also contribute water during the spring. In Maine, obligate vernal pool species include wood frogs, spotted and blue-spotted salamanders (two types of mole salamanders) and fairy shrimp. Of these, 27 are considered occasional or uncommon in Acadia National Park. Minimize soil disturbance and limit harvest to periods when soil is dry or frozen. When planning management activities: Scout for potential vernal pools using wetland maps, aerial photographs and topographic maps. Vernal pools do not support permanent or predatory fish populations1. Vernal pools are naturally occurring, temporary to semi-permanent pools occurring in shallow depressions in forested landscapes. We conducted a preliminary floristic study of six vernal pools in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Created at the University of Maine in consultation with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Maine Department of Environmental Protection this document was created to help clarify vernal pool regulation in Maine. that use the pools for at most 3 weeks as breeding sites. We are grateful to all the federal and state governmental and non-governmental agencies, municipalities, citizen scientists and other volunteers, landowners, land trusts, and private businesses who have contributed to our advancement of vernal pool management and education. Vernal pools are seasonal depressional wetlands that occur under the Mediterranean climate conditions of the West Coast and in glaciated areas of northeastern and midwestern states. Below we provide information on how vernal pools and SVPs are … Vernal pools that have been mapped as Significant Wildlife Habitat by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have statutory protection (38 MRSA § 480-Q) and may require a permit by rule for activities within 250 ft of the pool perimeter (DEP rules Chapter 335). Under this Act, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is designated as the authority for determining Significant Wildlife Habitats (SWHs). A key distinction from more traditional ponds lies in their variable water depth. The habitat management zones include the pool itself, the area within 100 ft of the pool perimeter (Protection Zone), and the area between 100 ft and 400 ft of the pool perimeter (Life Zone). While Significant Vernal Pools have been part of Maine’s regulated landscape for nearly four years, there is still oc-casional confusion about their identification and breadth of regulatory jurisdiction. These Significant Vernal Pools (SVPs), a small subset of Maine’s total pool resources, are recognized as productive breeding habitat for several specialized species of frogs, salamanders, and invertebrates. They are meant to be applied within a working forest where trees are regenerated and grown in the vicinity of important vernal pools. Within 100’ of the pool perimeter (Protection Zone):  Flag the boundaries of the protection zone. Our blog provides short posts on a diversity of vernal pool related topics written by members of our research team and our colleagues from around the region. In Maine, species that must have access to vernal pools in order to survive and reproduce include wood frogs, spotted and blue-spotted salamanders (two types of mole salamanders) and fairy shrimp. Maintain a uniformly distributed stand of trees, at least 20-30 feet tall, with at least 75% canopy cover. The habitat guidelines, outlined below, are broken into three zones. In Maine, the State of Maine DEP regulates “significant vernal pools” which include buffers. Avoid construction of new roads or landings; use BMP’s to protect water quality on old ones. In drier periods look for depressions in the forest with:  Compacted leaves and objects with water stains or a film of sediment. In the Northeast, vernal pools may fill during the fall and winter as the water table rises. Priority should be placed on protecting high-value pools that show significant breeding activity (more than one indicator species, and/or more than 20 egg masses of one indicator species). A vernal pool is a natural, temporary to semi permanent body of water occurring in a shallow depression that typically fills during the spring or fall and may dry during the summer. Check the method(s) of verification and fill in the confidence level (CL) for each species observation. Fairy shrimp egg cases remain on the pool bottom even after all water has disappeared. the Maine State Legislature passed the vernal pool law, vernal pools were not mapped, and this posed a significant challenge for regulatory compliance. Limit roads, landings and heavy cuttings between valuable pools separated by less than ¼ mile. Although vernal pools may only contain water for a relatively short period of time, they serve as essential breeding habitat for certain species of wildlife, including salamanders and frogs. Avoid use of heavy machinery. This web site was designed to provide information on vernal pools. Document vernal pools found in the field. The eggs can survive long periods of drying and freezing, but will hatch in late winter or early spring when water returns to the pool. Need help identifying the animals that breed in and use vernal pools? Still interested in learning more? This dataset was developed in accordance with Maine's Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). Leave older or dying trees (2 per acre or more). Management strategies are available at many different scales from how best to care for a pool habitat behind your home, planning a forestry operation around your pools, or engaging in town and region-wide conservation planning. Vernal pools or "spring pools" are shallow depressions that usually contain water for only part of the year. Vernal pools provide the primary breeding habitat for wood frogs, blue spotted and spotted salamanders, and fairy shrimp and provide habitat for other wildlife, including several endangered and threatened species. Starting September 1, 2007, significant vernal pool habitat is protected by law under the Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). Maine Vernal Pools Education on vernal pools in Maine and New England with hands on focus, evnironmental impact, laws, and best practices Welcome SCARBOROUGH ADULT ED - VERNAL POOLS, SPRING PEEPERS Document the pool’s existence. Fingernail clams, snails and/or caddisfly cases. Avoid clearcuts and pesticide applications near vernal pools. Leave some older or dying trees as sources of future coarse woody debris. A website all about VERNAL POOLS for the people of the glaciated Northeast and Midwest providing resources on: ecology, identification, regulation, and strategies for conservation developed from evidence- based science. Vernal pools generally hold water for several months in the spring and early summer and are often dry by fall. Sixty-five vascular plant species from 26 families were recorded. They are essential habitats because several of Maine’s amphibian species breed in them almost exclusively, including Vernal Pools Cumberland Vernal Pool Project Letter to Cumberland Landowners (Updated 3/1/2010) Preparing for Field Season and Assessments Seasonal Images of Vernal Pools Spring 2010 Mapping & Presentation Schedule Fairy shrimp are small crustaceans which spend their entire life cycle in vernal pools, and have adapted to constantly changing environmental conditions. Vernal pools typically dry out by mid to late summer. Avoid disturbing the basin and surrounding vegetation. There are an estimated 100-200 vernal pools per township in southern and coastal Maine, according to deMaynadier. Summarized from:  Calhoun, A.J.K. We provide a variety of resources for you including annotated powerpoint presentations. Purpose: Significant Vernal Pools (SVP) is a Significant Wildlife Habitat defined under Maine's Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). Prevent slash and sediment from entering the pool. Avoid constructing new roads or landings; apply BMP’s to existing ones. Some important habitat elements that should be maintained within 750 ft of the pool are: Vernal Pool in Wallagrass, Maine (This vernal pool was flagged and protected during a logging operation). Wetland plants (mosses, sedges, some ferns and shrubs) and soils. Plant species were recorded on three sampling dates from April to October, 2008. A website all about VERNAL POOLS for the people of the glaciated Northeast and Midwest providing resources on: ecology, identification, regulation, and strategies for conservation developed from evidence- based science. Conservation strategies? In response, the goals of VPMAP were to: (1) develop a map of vernal pools 2002. Vernal pools are important features for site evaluators to identify because the buffers around them can be very highly regulated in some circumstances. Vernal pools are temporary to semi-permanent pools occurring in shallow depressions that typically fill during the spring or fall and may dry during the summer (or in drought years). Vernal Pools – Milestones and Misconceptions We are happy to share! The DEP calls them critical terrestrial habitats. Do you want more information on or experience with vernal pools? Identify it on your management plan maps and/or include it in a planning GIS layer. Thirteen species are new reports for vernal pools … Fish and Wildlife Service. Vernal Pools Useful Documents, Forms and Publications Useful Links and Regulations WRDA214 Submitting-Electronic-Correspondence Navigation Public Notices Connecticut Projects Maine Projects Massachusetts Projects Habitat Management Guidelines have been developed to help forest managers, harvesters and landowners protect elements of critical habitat for vernal pool - dependent wildlife. Looking for photos of vernal pools, egg masses, or amphibians to use for educational purposes? Avoid chemical use. To address that loss, "significant Map vernal pools and surrounding habitat management zones. Looking for ways to engage kids in learning about vernal pools? USGS topographical maps (look for depressions, indications of wetlands). Minimize soil compaction by harvesting when soil is frozen or dry. Maine’s citizen guide to locating and documenting vernal pools. Outside 100’ of pool perimeter but within 400’ (Life Zone):  Maintain a uniformly distributed stand of trees, at least 20-30 feet tall, with at least 50% canopy cover. Forest management activities are exempt from vernal pool regulations. Published on Dec 11, 2009 At the University of Maine Professor Aram Calhoun is working with towns in Maine to map out the vernal pools in the state. They can be surrounded by many communities/species including deciduous forest, grassland, lodgepole pine forest, blue oak woodland, sagebrush steppe, succulent coastal scrub and prairie. Full descriptions and justifications can be found in Forestry Habitat Management Guidelines for Vernal Pool Wildlife. Vernal pools provide important habitat for many common and specialized forest-dwelling species. Their ecology? Read about vernal pools as they make local, national, or global news. ArcGIS Hub is an easy-to-configure cloud platform that organizes people, data, and tools to accomplish Initiatives and goals. Informed by current research, responsive to local plans for growth and development, incorporating a market-based fee Vernal pools or "spring pools" are shallow depressions that usually contain water for only part of the year. Note any rare species associated with vernal pools. SVPs and PSVPs were mapped and surveyed in the field by Maine Department of Environmental Protection staff, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists, and appropriately trained consultants. In Maine, vernal pools are also defined by the animals that use them for breeding, including the following indicator species: When planning a timber harvest look for potential vernal pools on:  National Wetland Inventory Maps—look for isolated depressions designated as: Aerial photographs (large scale, color infrared taken with leaves off the trees are best). This dataset includes all Significant … Our partners over the decades have included environmental NGOs such as Maine Audubon, government agencies at the federal and state levels, Maine municipalities, land trusts, and members of the development community. In early spring vernal pools can be identified by looking for: Small, isolated wetlands that are at least 12” deep and likely to hold water for more than 2 ½ months. While wood frogs and mole salamanders live most of their lives in uplands, they must return to vernal pools to mate and lay their eggs. "Significant vernal pools" are a subset of vernal pools with particularly valuable habitat. A vernal pool is a small, seasonal pothole or wetland that forms in a shallow depression over bedrock or clay-containing soil. Vernal Pool Fact Sheet:  A Significant Wildlife Habitat. Leave tops and limbs from harvested trees. (Forestry habitat management guidelines for vernal pool wildlife). and M. W. Klemens. Evidence of one or more indicator species (mating adults, egg masses, spermatophores, or larvae). Life returns to Discovery Channel in October - Sundays starting 10/3 @ 8 and 9p! The Maine Vernal Pools Special Area Management Plan represents the outcome of this collaborative process. Maine Audubon Society, Falmouth, Maine. This dataset includes all Significant Vernal Pools currently mapped. A Summer Spent in Churchill, Manitoba, Maine Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project – Part 2. Vernal pool-dependent organisms rely on the pool itself as well as an intact forest immediately surrounding the pool to complete their lifecycle. At the University of Maine there has been a diverse team working on vernal pool topics since the early 90’s with collaboration from researchers and stakeholders around Maine and the eastern US. Within the pool depression (delimited by spring high water level):  Flag the pool perimeter during harvest layout and prior to cutting (can be done during spring breakup when harvesting activities are curtailed). Under this Act, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is designated as the authority for determining Significant Wildlife Habitats (SWHs). We also encourage you to share photos with us. 2004. Funding for vernal pool identifi cation and conservation by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is supported by contributions to the state’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, proceeds from the Conserva- tion “Loon” license plate and Chickadee Check-off, and a grant from the U.S. We provide a breadth of current publications and additional resources for the public, scientists,and land managers. If you need digital copies of powerpoint presentations or other materials, or if you are looking for additional information on pool conservation and the SAMP, feel free to contact us. Vernal pools are currently defined by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) as naturally-occurring, seasonal to permanent bodies of water occurring in shallow depressions that fill during the spring and fall and may dry during the summer. Join a vernal pool working group designed for researchers and managers, Read about vernal pools as they make local, Thank you for you interest in vernal pools. Would you like to know more about federal, state, or local regulations that apply to vernal pools? But development pressure is causing the loss of such pools at a rapid rate. We have songs, comics, children’s books, and lesson plans to share. As a relatively newly protected re Interested in the research conducted to inform policy, regulation, and best management practices? – If you can’t safely access vernal pools at night, go out early in the morning. Minimize the use of chemicals, especially during  early spring and late summer/early fall, when amphibians are migrating. Thank you for you interest in vernal pools. Young of these, 27 are considered occasional or uncommon in Acadia National Park on Desert. Information on vernal pools and associated management zones when planning management activities: for. 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