How do I determine if there is a resource area on my property?
Officially, the Conservation Commission determines their jurisdiction based on site surveys. Either the conservation agent or a consulting firm walks the wetlands, marking on plans the locations and boundaries of features. Whether there are any restrictions on activities/development due to the existence of endangered species habitat on a property must be determined by the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP).

It is the responsibility of the property owner/interested party to have the property in question surveyed and the delineation confirmed by the Conservation Commission; a process that requires applying for an Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation (ANRAD). This process will include ruling out conservation restrictions imposed by the NHESP. The Order of Resource Area Delineation (ORAD), the form the Commission produces in response to an ANRAD, will lock in the location of all the resource features defined for a period of 3 years. To get a general feel for the proximity of wetlands to a particular land area, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service maintains the National Wetlands Inventory mapping tool. To determine the existence of vernal pools or view FEMA floodplains, the “MassGIS Oliver” mapping system may be utilized. Alternatively, you can contact our office for guidance.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Conservation Commission and what does it do?
2. What is the Wetlands Protection Act?
3. What resource areas are protected under the act?
4. How do I determine if there is a resource area on my property?
5. What is protected by the Local Wetlands Protection Ordinance?
6. What is overseen by the Stormwater Management Ordinance?
7. When should you consult the Conservation Commission?