Wetland Conservation District

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What This Sign Means and Why it’s Important to You!

What is a Wetlands Conservation District?

A Wetlands Conservation District (WCD) is a 50 foot buffer that surrounds any body of water such as a pond, brook, seasonal stream or any wetland in excess of 2000 square feet in size. A wetland is determined by soil types, not simply by the presence of water.

Wetlands and the surrounding WCD setback are delineated on a property’s plot plan. Small, green WCD signs, like the one depicted on the cover of this brochure, may also be posted on your property to delineate a WCD boundary. If you are unsure whether or not a WCD exists on your property, consult the Planning Department prior to cutting vegetation, disturbing the soil, or building structures.

Wetlands impacts are regulated by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the WCD is regulated by the Town of Pelham Zoning Ordinance. Violations can result in fines, restoration costs, and legal and engineering expenses.

Play it safe and check with the Planning Department before you begin a project!


  Things to do in your wetland or WCD:
Hike, picnic, bird watch, cross-country ski and other passive recreational uses
Enjoy the privacy a no cut buffer provides
Observe wildlife in its natural state
Take pleasure from protecting your environment as a responsible steward of your land
Things NOT to do in your wetland or WCD:
Remove trees or natural vegetation
Use fertilizers or pesticides
Dispose of leaves, branches or waste
Disturb the soil, plant a lawn or mow grasses
Install a pool, shed, or any other structure
Store vehicles or equipment
Remove WCD signs

The Value

of Open Space

Over the last two decades Pelham has experienced unprecedented residential growth. Hundreds of homes in dozens of developments have been built resulting in the rapid paving and landscaping of once flourishing open spaces.

Open space benefits the community in many ways:
Helps preserve the town’s rural character
Protects the quality of Pelham’s drinking water
Preserves Pelham’s scenic vistas, forests, and wildlife habitat
Helps stabilize taxes – open space has less impact on municipal services than developed land
Encourages stewardship and enjoyment of water and land resources

Please support our efforts to protect and acquire open space. If you own or know of a parcel that you would like to see protected, please contact the Planning Dept. at 635-7811 ext 4 and they will get your message to us.


For assistance contact:

The Pelham Planning Department                                                                                                        603-635-7811 ext. 4                                                                                             www.planning@pelhamweb.com

The Pelham Conservation Commission                                                                                                 603-635-7811 ext. 4                                                                                www.planning@pelhamweb.com

NH Dept. of Environmental Services                                                                                                       603-271-2147                                                                                                       www.des.state.nh/wetlands