9 CRR-NY 578.5NY-CRR

9 CRR-NY 578.5
9 CRR-NY 578.5
578.5 Values of particular wetlands.
The following list describes several wetland covertypes and most other wetland characteristics and assigns one of four value ratings to each. Wetlands may have one or several of these characteristics. The value ratings indicate the overall worth of a given wetland, and in combination with the standards in sections 578.6 through 578.10 of this Part, will provide general guidance to applicants whether a permit will be issued pursuant to this Part.
Values of Particular Wetland Covertypes
Value Rating
(a) Bogs are relatively specialized communities which often contain unusual plant or animal species, including many typical of boreal zones, and are usually very slow-growing.2
(b) Classic or kettlehole bogs are very rare, support a limited community of plants highly specialized for life in bogs and are very sensitive to disruption and slow to recover.1
(c) Emergent marsh is the most valuable individual covertype and one of the highest in productivity of all temperate ecosystems. The emergent vegetation provides nesting habitat, food and cover for many waterfowl and other wildlife, provides large annual increases in biomass, and cycles large quantities of nutrients into food chains. Emergent marshes usually contrast with surrounding areas in physical structure and therefore provide habitat diversity and "edge." Where purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) or reed (Phragmites australis) constitute approximately two-thirds or more of the wetland, however, the value assigned is lower (3) as these species are less productive and support much less wildlife use than other marsh species.2
(d) Deciduous swamps are frequently used by nesting and migrating waterfowl. They are also heavily used by other birds and wildlife. Deciduous swamps are often intermittently flooded and desiccated. Their soils exhibit high fertility which promotes rapid plant growth and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Windthrow of the shallow rooted trees found in such swamps tends to create habitat variety. During the growing season, such swamps transpire and filter great quantities of water, contributing to the maintenance of water quality and the moderation of micro-climatic conditions.2
(e) Deep water marsh may be an important food source for waterfowl and is frequently a valuable area for fish spawning and nurseries. When located adjacent to a larger waterbody it is valuable as well as a water storage area.3
(f) Shrub swamps generally have variable values for fish and wildlife. Since they are likely to be of different vegetational structure than surrounding or adjoining areas, they often supply significant nesting and other wildlife habitat. Shrub swamps adjacent to permanent bodies of water are frequently flooded and provide additional water storage capacity to ameliorate downstream flooding. Shrub swamps may also be located in zones subject to scouring by ice or other waterborne debris. In these areas, shrub swamps, which contain species resistant to scouring damage, stabilize soil and prevent erosion and downstream sedimentation.3
(g) Wetlands composed of two or more structural groups have greater value as fish or wildlife habitat. Three structural groups are recognized for determining this value:2
(1) low types, found in wet meadows and emergent marshes;
(2) shrubs and trees, found in deciduous, coniferous and shrub swamps;
(3) flat or water, found in deep water marshes, open water and mudflats.
A group must comprise at least 10 percent of the wetland area to be counted as a separate structural group for the purposes of this subdivision.
(h) Coniferous swamps are capable of transpiring large quantities of water over a major portion of the year. This process may, during the summer, contribute to the maintenance of low soil and water temperatures critical to the survival of cold water fish in streams fed by or running through such swamps.4
(i) Wet meadows, when associated with other covertypes, are valuable for wildlife, including nesting by wetland birds. When associated with open water and certain other wetland covertypes, wet meadows may also be valuable for fish spawning. When not associated with other wetland covertypes, however, wet meadow is likely to be of relatively lower value.4
(j) Artificial mudflats usually have limited or no values for fish and wildlife due to the unpredictability and usually prolonged duration of exposure.4
Wetlands Related to Surface Water Systems
(k) Wetlands associated with open water provide breeding and spawning areas as well as food and cover for wildlife and fish using the open water. They are an integral part of open water ecosystems and provide natural nutrient exchange. They purify water entering the open water and may improve its quality whether measured in rate of flow, dissolved oxygen content, clarity, or ionic content. They often provide temporary storm water storage and ameliorate downstream flooding. Wetlands with over 20 acres within the mean high water mark of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams are integral parts of those water bodies and can dramatically affect quality and flow in those waterbodies and are rated highest (1). Wetlands with under two acres in size or not within the mean high water mark are of much less importance to the adjoining water body and are rated lower (3).2
(l) Wetlands that are not part of permanent surface water systems have lower hydrological value and are less supportive of fish and waterfowl.4
Wetlands with Values due to Productivity or Diversity
(m) Wetlands with unusual species abundance or diversity are unique ecosystems which may contain large heron rookeries, may be the site of other colonial nesting grounds, may be used intensively by migrating birds, or may contain some other abundance or diversity of wildlife or fish. They are relatively more valuable if they are unique or exemplary compared to other wetlands in the State, in the Adirondacks, or in the county in which they are located, and are rated highest (1).2
(n) Wetlands with a total alkalinity of at least 50 ppm are valuable for fish and wildlife since their buffering capacity promotes conditions favorable to the growth of vegetation, providing good wildlife habitat. Alkalinity also indicates natural fertility of the underlying substrate, with potentially high productivity and nutrient turnover.3
(o) Wetlands adjacent to fertile upland, indicated by the presence of growing crops or soils suitable for growing crops in the immediate vicinity, are valuable as fish and wildlife habitat due to higher levels of available plant and nutrients and trace elements reaching the wetland.3
Wetlands with Values due to Presence of Threatened or Endangered Species
(p) Wetlands with significant evidence of use as key habitat for endangered or threatened wildlife species contribute significantly to the survival prospects for that species. Wetlands providing resident habitat for a species considered endangered or threatened in New York State or the Adirondack Park are the most critical. Wetlands providing migratory habitat, while also essential for perpetuation of the species, are rated lower (2).1
(q) Wetlands containing an endangered or threatened plant species similarly contribute to the prospects for survival of such species. If five or fewer sites are known where the plant occurs within New York State or the Adirondack Park, the wetland provides virtually irreplaceable habitat. Wetlands providing any habitat supporting plants endangered or threatened in New York State or the Adirondack Park are nevertheless valuable (2).1
Wetlands with Values Due to Geological Features
(r) Wetlands containing, owing their existence to, or ecologically associated with high quality or "textbook examples" of geological features are generally of scientific and educational interest.3
(s) Wetlands with slopes greater than one percent have little hydrologic value due to decreased water retention.4
Wetlands with Values due to Social Factors
(t) Wetlands located in towns where wetlands or wetlands of the same covertype are one percent or less of total acreage are valuable due to comparative rarity.2
(u) Wetlands that are among the three largest in the town in which located are assigned high values due to comparative rarity. Wetlands among the three largest of the same covertype are valuable for the same reason (3).2
(v) Wetlands with island(s) present within their boundaries provide nesting and refuge for wildlife, visual variety and interest, and an opportunity for recreational or educational activities.3
(w) Wetlands of demonstrable historical, archeological or palentological significance are generally of high value for scientists and laymen alike depending upon the specific historic event, or archeological or paleontological feature involved.3
(x) Wetlands that contribute significantly to open space or aesthetic values in a hamlet, moderate intensity or low intensity use area serve to preserve open space and aesthetic values in areas where most growth will and should occur according to the Adirondack Park land use and development plan map. They often provide welcome visual relief due to their natural character, and opportunities for wildlife viewing within built-up areas.3
9 CRR-NY 578.5
Current through September 15, 2021
End of Document

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