Walls Tract

Note: Some of the following photos are larger than can be viewed on a normal PC's monitor. Use the arrow keys to scroll up-down and left-right.

A picture of developer running heavy equipment through wetland area creating deep troughs which can block migration of the bog turtles. The four wheel drive backhoe became so mired in the wetland it had to use it's backhoe to push it along through the area:

Results of the backhoe's work:
Wetland Blocked

Overall view of the tract taken the summer of 2002 from a radio controlled airplane looking west. Notice upper right the spring house is circled. Below that one can see the upper (smaller) pond's water level and much of the surrounding area south and east of the pond is well below the pond's water level. One can also see the wetlands extending at mid-right into the woods. The main bulk of the wetland is to the left of the picture, off camera, only part of which can be observed from McFadden Road. Bog turtles have been discovered over the entire wetland area.

Photo taken near end of January 2003 during a long sub-freezing cold spell. It is looking east over McFadden road. The big pond is to the right and the small pond is to the left. Notice the ice from the freezing of wetland water as it flows from the woods. This wetland flow extends all the way through the woods and into an Old Baltimore Pike neighbor's backyard.
Ice from woods

Photo taken Sunday Feb. 9th 2003 after our deep snowfall. View is from McFadden Road looking down and east with corner of main house on the right. The little pond is off camera to the left of the photo. Notice the wetlands running from deep within the woods have melted the snow even though our snow was quite deep. Also notice the little red flags are well removed from this open wetland area.
Feb. 9th water run from woods

Photo taken end of January 2003 during severe and long cold period. It shows sneakers with toes submerged in over an inch of water at a location well up the slope near edge of the woods. This in-spite of our long summer drought
Shoes within standing water well up the slope near edge of woods

Sneakers are in same position as in photo above with camera pulled back and so photo now includes ice run resulting from surface water running from the woods.

Another view of wetlands extending out from woods right through area that developer says is not wetlands and where he intends to build a shared driveway up to slope above wetlands.
Wetlands revealed

Another view of wetlands extending through woods and out after our very large late winter snowstorm. How anyone could describe this area as non-wetlands is a mystery.
Side of barn and woods with Snow
Paragraphs from http://wilkes.edu/~kklemow/NEBJ-article.html:


Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D.
Department of Biology, Wilkes University , Wilkes-Barre, PA Prepared for the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal January, 1991

We have turned our views on wetlands completely around within the past twenty-five years. Now, wetlands are considered be valuable environmental resources deserving protection. As a result, stringent laws are in effect that regulate development in wetlands. Failure to abide by those regulations can have severe consequences for uninformed or unscrupulous developers. Violators face heavy fines, prison sentences, and costs associated with restoring wetlands back to their original condition. Since the stakes are so high, every property owner should understand how wetlands are legally defined and which activities in wetlands are regulated.
A consistent definition of a wetland was developed during a meeting of the four federal agencies early in 1988. According to that definition, a wetland is any area whose soil is covered with standing water or saturated with sufficient frequency and duration to cause special water-tolerating plants to grow there. Specifically, if the water table is eighteen inches or less from the soil surface for at least one week during the growing season, then the site is a wetland.

Developers in Pennsylvania should pay very close attention to that definition because many local areas appear at first glance to be dry uplands, but are really wetlands. The biggest problem for developers is created on sites that are wet for a few weeks in the late spring, due to snowmelt, but then dry out throughout the summer. Thus, it is dangerous to assume that an area is not a wetland merely because it is dry underfoot.
Property owners who hire a consultant should understand that the consultant acts as an impartial umpire, making a determination according to the evidence available. Therefore, property owners should provide as much information about the property as possible, including any information on past uses. The property owner should give the consultant enough leeway to gather any other information that might be available, especially from neighbors and governmental agencies. Property owners should also recognize that many sites require several visits at different times of the year, due to hydrologic or vegetation patterns that are impossible to assess during a single visit. Finally, property owners should never ask a consultant to "shade" the findings by calling a site an upland when it is really a wetland. When such cases are discovered, both the property owner and the consultant are held liable.