24. April 2013 07:25
Scattered across the Upper Midwest are thousands of small seasonally wet areas that may only be saturated or hold water from late fall to late spring or early summer. Seasonal wetlands (also known as “vernal ponds”) result from winter snowmelt and spring rains, and typically occur in depressional areas in woods and open fields. By mid-summer, most seasonal wetlands have dried out or are just barely moist. Some are almost indiscernible across the landscape.
Although many of these seasonal wetlands may be less than an acre or even a half-acre in size, they provide an important food source for migratory birds, waterfowl, breeding and feeding areas for amphibians and reptiles, and critical winter food supplies for turkey, deer and other birds and mammals.
There are many different types of seasonal wetlands including seasonally flooded basins, farmed depressions, hardwood swamps, springs and seeps, and lake plain prairies. If you are lucky enough to own any of these seasonal wetlands, you will notice they are used by a wide variety of wildlife. Seasonal wetlands are gaining recognition as important habitats because of their unique role in the landscape, their valuable wetland function, and the critical habitat they provide for wildlife.
If you have any questions about seasonal wetlands, wetland delineation or the current wetland permitting process, the ecologists at R.A. Smith national can provide the assistance you need. Please contact Heather Patti at (262) 317-3361 or Tina Myers at (262) 317-3389.
25. February 2013 08:30
There have been many changes over the past year regarding the WDNR’s wetland and waterway permitting process. For example, DNR launched an electronic online permitting system for Individual Permits (IP) about a year ago which helped streamline the permitting process. While many activities have an online process currently available, there are still some activities that do not. If you have a project planned, it is important to check the website for updates. A link to the WDNR’s article regarding this new online system can be found here: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/?id=367#art2
Here’s another brief update regarding General Permits (GPs) for wetland disturbance: In addition to Individual Permits (IPs) for wetland disturbance, there are also currently two types of GP applications available that are specific to project type; one of them is for “Commercial, Residential, and Industrial” projects, while the other is for “Municipal Highways, Bridges, Arches, and Culverts.” We can expect to see other GPs specific to “Recreational Use” and “Utilities” hopefully in the near future. For those familiar with the Practicable Alternatives Analysis (PAA) process pertaining to wetland disturbance, there are also activity-based PAA Supplements currently being drafted by the WDNR that should also soon become available. These supplements will help guide applicants through the wetland impact avoidance/minimize analysis which must be considered by each applicant. For more information about wetland permits click on this link: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Waterways/construction/wetlands.html#grade
If you have any questions about the current permit process or need wetlands and waterways delineated for your project, the ecologists at R.A. Smith National can provide the assistance you need. Please contact Tina Myers at (262) 317-3389 or Heather Patti at (262) 317-3361.