Old News Archive

DEP Helps Landowners Identify Vernal Pools

April 30, 2007 - TRC

(AUGUSTA) – Starting September 1, a new law will protect significant vernal pools in Maine. This protection ensures valuable wildlife will live harmoniously with future development. Vernal pools are naturally occurring shallow depressions, often associated with forested wetlands, that fill with water during the spring or fall and often run dry in the summer.

“These are important rules because they channel development away from high quality wildlife habitat, and allow development in lower quality habitats,” according to Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner David Littell. The law will enable landowners to ensure they do not disturb significant breeding and hatching areas for certain frogs, salamanders and other amphibians. The DEP is encouraging landowners to contact the department to determine if the springtime wet spot on their property is a vernal pool that is protected under the new law.

“We can help people work within this law but the window of time to make these determinations is upon us now,” notes DEP’s Director of Land Resource Regulation Jeff Madore. “Weather and climate play a big factor in the timing of the identification period when trained staff look for indicator species and egg masses following the peak breeding period of pool-breeding amphibians. We are asking the public to contact us in advance, depending on the region of Maine they reside in.” Landowners in southern Maine are encouraged to contact the DEP before May 14 to schedule staff assistance in determining if they have a vernal pool in their back yard. Northern Maine landowners should contact the DEP before May 24.

DEP’s statewide toll free telephone number is 800-452-1942. Landowners located near the following locations can call: Portland 822-6300 or 888-769-1036, Augusta 287-7688, Bangor 941-4570 or 888-769-1137, Presque Isle 764-0477 or 888-769-1053.

Northern Maine is considered to be approximately that part of the state north of a line extending from Fryeburg to Auburn to Skowhegan to Bangor to Calais. The southern Maine region is considered to be approximately that part of the state south of that same line.

Submitted by :
Jeff Madore 207-287-7848 jeff.g.madore@maine.gov
Agency: Environmental Protection

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.