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Vernal pools are a type of wetland. 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. Avoid chemical use. Since vernal pools dry out on a regular basis, they cannot support permanent populations of fish. Maintain a uniformly distributed stand of trees, at least 20-30 feet tall, with at least 75% canopy cover. Need help identifying the animals that breed in and use vernal pools? The Maine Forest Service promotes the use of voluntary habitat management guidelines for the protection of important vernal pools during timber harvest operations. Vernal pools are naturally occurring, temporary to semi-permanent pools occurring in shallow depressions in forested landscapes. the Maine State Legislature passed the vernal pool law, vernal pools were not mapped, and this posed a significant challenge for regulatory compliance. 2002. 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. 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. Interested in the research conducted to inform policy, regulation, and best management practices? Leave some older or dying trees as sources of future coarse woody debris. Maine Audubon Society, Falmouth, Maine. ArcGIS Hub is an easy-to-configure cloud platform that organizes people, data, and tools to accomplish Initiatives and goals. Document the pool’s existence. When planning management activities: Scout for potential vernal pools using wetland maps, aerial photographs and topographic maps. Avoid disturbing the basin and surrounding vegetation. 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. Would you like to know more about federal, state, or local regulations that apply to vernal pools? Wetland plants (mosses, sedges, some ferns and shrubs) and soils. Of these, 27 are considered occasional or uncommon in Acadia National Park. Timber harvesting activities should avoid disturbing high-value vernal pools and limit impacts to the immediate surrounding forest. This web site was designed to provide information on vernal pools. that use the pools for at most 3 weeks as breeding sites. The habitat guidelines, outlined below, are broken into three zones. Looking for ways to engage kids in learning about vernal pools? Maine’s citizen guide to locating and documenting vernal pools. Vernal pools do not support permanent or predatory fish populations1. This dataset includes all Significant Vernal Pools currently mapped. Identify it on your management plan maps and/or include it in a planning GIS layer. Avoid plantations and large-scale changes in forest cover type. In Maine, vernal pools are also defined by the animals that use them for breeding, including the following indicator species: Full descriptions and justifications can be found in Forestry Habitat Management Guidelines for Vernal Pool Wildlife. 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. Note any rare species associated with vernal pools. 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. 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. Document vernal pools found in the field. Limit roads, landings and heavy cuttings between valuable pools separated by less than ¼ mile. – 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! Thank you for you interest in vernal pools. Still interested in learning more? 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. Plant species were recorded on three sampling dates from April to October, 2008. 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. As a relatively newly protected re Vernal Pools for Me Institution: University of Maine Sponsor: Maine Water Resources Research Institute through the Mitchell Center The Vernal Pools for Me project highlights and enhances the connection between stakeholders and their vernal pools by encouraging understanding of these special, small water resources through a portfolio of outreach materials. USGS topographical maps (look for depressions, indications of wetlands). Vernal pools or "spring pools" are shallow depressions that usually contain water for only part of the year. 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. 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). Summarized from:  Calhoun, A.J.K. To address that loss, "significant 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). 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). Below we provide information on how vernal pools and SVPs are … 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, Subarctic Wood Frogs! We have songs, comics, children’s books, and lesson plans to share. These pools are characteristic of Mediterranean climates, but occur in many other ecosystems. Vernal pools are small (usually less than an acre), have no permanentinlet and no viable populations of predatory fish. How to manage for vernal pools in a working forest or rural communities? Minimize soil compaction by harvesting when soil is frozen or dry. Thirteen species are new reports for vernal pools … Minimize soil disturbance and limit harvest to periods when soil is dry or frozen. 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. Leave older or dying trees (2 per acre or more). Avoid constructing new roads or landings; apply BMP’s to existing ones. Do you want more information on or experience with vernal pools? 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. It may not be possible to protect all vernal pools during forest management activities. Life returns to Discovery Channel in October - Sundays starting 10/3 @ 8 and 9p! Vernal pools typically dry out by mid to late summer. A Summer Spent in Churchill, Manitoba, Maine Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project – Part 2. But development pressure is causing the loss of such pools at a rapid rate. 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). Starting September 1, 2007, significant vernal pool habitat is protected by law under the Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA). The Maine Vernal Pools Special Area Management Plan represents the outcome of this collaborative process. 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. 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. Looking for photos of vernal pools, egg masses, or amphibians to use for educational purposes? 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