Large Wetland Map

Wetlands

A total of 300 wetland and potential wetland systems have been identified in the town of Enosburgh. The wetlands consist of Class II and Class III wetlands as defined by the State of Vermont Wetland Rules, and possible wetlands ("Potential Wetlands") based on soils and professional judgment. Wetlands occupy approximately 2,100 acres of the town. There is a diverse array of wetlands in the study area including sixteen different wetland natural community types. The number and extent of wetland communities is presented in the following table.

Sites of Local Significance

The sites that follow were identified from remote sources and then from field visits during the 2003 field season. The Wetland Units described below correspond to the polygon ID's in the ArcView shape file. See attached Resource Map for wetland unit locations. Further inventory work is needed to identify other areas of potential significance in Enosburgh.

Beaver Wetlands Northwest of Bordoville

Northwest of Bordoville there is a series of beaver associated wetlands (wetlands 210-213 on the wetland map). These wetlands appear to be in very good condition, are undisturbed and relatively remote. They are a haven for a wide variety of wildlife and harbor many different natural communities including an Alder Swamp, a Willow Swamp, a small remnant Red Maple-Black Ash Swamp, an Emergent Marsh, and open water beaver ponds. Some flooded areas appear to be well established beaver ponds while others appear to be more recent. The overall mosaic of wetland vegetation, open water, shrub swamp and upland forest creates an area with a high degree of plant diversity. It also creates a series of wetlands that are able to mitigate the floodwaters that come off Leach Hill during high water events. The beaver ponds may also serve the function of filtering out any sediment that may come off the hills. This series of wetland communities is considered locally significant.
Management Recommendations: Since these wetlands are fairly remote and not easily accessed, the threat to them from development is probably minor. Nevertheless, a 100-foot buffer between these wetlands and any development should be considered. Logging around these wetlands should also maintain a 50-foot buffer to minimize the potential disturbance to the wetland soils and to amphibian habitat and corridors.

Northern Hardwood Seepage Forest

(Wetland unit #'s 24, 25, 82, 108, and 215 on the wetland map): All of the sites that were visited during this inventory appear to be intermediate between upland and wetland habitats. They are dominated mostly by upland tree species such as sugar maple and white ash but also contain species typical of more wetland habitats such as red maple and black ash. The herbaceous layer is dominated by wetland vegetation such as sensitive fern, cinnamon fern and dewberry. The soils are usually silt or clay loams and sometimes contain a dense pan that impedes drainage. Like the Mesic Hemlock Northern Hardwood Forest, these sites are not very well documented in the state and are somewhat unique. Relatively large stands such as found here may be uncommon. For this reason, these sites are considered locally significant. There are undoubtedly more of these sites in Enosburgh that have yet to be identified.
Management recommendations: Some of these sites are Class II wetlands and have the protections associated with the Class II wetland status. Other sites, while not mapped wetlands, may contain soils that are unsuitable for development. Limited logging in this natural community will likely not disrupt the natural processes as long as care is taken not to disturb the soils. Disruption of the soils can result in an invasion of non-native, weedy plant species that can choke out native vegetation and decrease the quality of the plant community.

Beaver Meadow Brook Wetlands

There is a series of eight wetlands (unit #s 56-58, 109, 111, 112, 253-254) along Beaver Meadow Brook from its headwaters near the Woodward Neighborhood Road to where the Brook crosses Nichols road in East Enosburgh. This wetland complex is one of the most extensive and important complexes in the town. The different natural communities found in this complex include Emergent Marshes, Alder Swamps, open water beaver ponds, small examples of Sedge Meadows, Adams Pond and a possible conifer swamp. This wide variety of natural communities provides habitat for a great diversity of plants and offers wildlife habitat for species such as mink, otter, great blue heron, beaver, white-tailed deer, black bear, various waterfowl, and many species of turtles and frogs. The mosaic of vegetation and the pattern of water flow also make these wetlands important for control of flood waters, filtering of nutrients and sediment, and controlling erosion along Beaver Brook.
Management Recommendations: As mentioned above, this series of wetlands is important in Enosburgh for the natural communities, plant and wildlife habitat and preserving water quality. As Class II wetlands, these sites are protected with a 50-foot buffer. Given the significance of these wetlands to the town, a 100-foot buffer is recommended. Any activity that would disrupt the local hydrology or has the potential to introduce non-native species should be discouraged.

Hopkins Bridge Wetlands

This series of five wetlands (unit #'s 6-10) sit along the Trout River just south of the Hopkins Bridge. They consist of Emergent Marshes, Willow-Alder Swamps, and a Floodplain Forest. Only wetland unit #'s 8-10 were visited during this inventory. Wetland unit #'s 6 and 7 were not visited due to lack of landowner permission and were therefore assessed remotely. Wetland unit #8 is an extensive shrub swamp that occurs at the confluence of the Trout River and one of its tributaries. This is a broad, flat area that is dominated by willow and speckled alder shrubs. Common herbs include blue-joint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis), rice cut-grass (Leersia oryzoides), and boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). The soils are shallow peat (muck) soils over gravel. Standing water is common. There are many standing dead trees and a good mixture of shrub and herbaceous vegetation offering a wide variety of wildlife habitat. This wetland also likely controls floodwaters, absorbs excessive nutrients and sediments and controls erosion along the banks of the tributary. This community appears to be in excellent condition and is likely the largest, best example of this community type in the town. This site is therefore considered locally significant.
From remote assessment, wetland unit #6 appears to be a relatively large Floodplain Forest. This is likely the largest remaining Floodplain Forest within the town of Enosburgh. As such, it could be a valuable part of the natural heritage of the town. While the condition of the community cannot be determined from remote sources, both the size and uniqueness of the community type in the town suggest that this site be considered locally significant.
Management Recommendations: All of the wetlands in this complex are Class II wetlands and therefore are protected with a 50-foot buffer. Given the significance of these communities, a 100-foot buffer is recommended for these wetlands. Any activity that would disrupt the local hydrology or has the potential to introduce or hasten the spread of invasive species should be discouraged.
Wetland unit # 6, should be inventoried and the condition of the community assessed. This is especially important in the case of Floodplain Forests as they are very susceptible to invasion by aggressive non-native plant species. These weedy species can completely choke out the diversity of the native vegetation and degrade the condition of the community. If non-natives have taken hold in this community, it is recommended that a community effort be undertaken to eradicate them or control their spread.