Vernal pools are small, still bodies of water that, in many years, dry up in summer. Because they don't support permanent populations of fish, they are important breeding habitats for amphibians and other unique animals. Look carefully before cutting or building in low, moist areas.
Documenting vernal pools
To be classified as a vernal pool in New Hampshire, a pool must have evidence of breeding activity by Wood Frogs, Spotted Salamanders, Jefferson/Blue-Spotted Salamanders, and/or Fairy Shrimp, or a combination of other species.
Tamworth has many vernal pools. Under state wetlands regulations, they are protected like other wetlands. In summer and fall, any low depression with limited vegetation could be a dry vernal pool and should be evaluated to make sure it is not one before construction or other activity in it is initiated.
The Commission supports a voluntary program of identifying and monitoring vernal pools on public lands and private lands where landowner permission has been obtained. This effort began in April 2010 with leadership from the Great Hill Ecology Center with support from Green Mountain Conservation Group. Volunteer pool monitors are needed. For more info: email@example.com.
And watch for special spring vernal pool outings; the Events page.