Klemow, K.M., M. Mohseni, D. Clancy, D. Grassi, T. Massenheimer, H. Quick, S. Schoenwolf, and M. Wassel. 1997. FURTHER EVALUATION OF NATIONAL WETLAND INVENTORY MAPS FOR NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA. Contributed paper: Pennsylvania Academy of Science meeting. Abstract: Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 70:179.

A previous analysis of a 78 sq. km. area in Luzerne County revealed that the National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps produced by the US Fish & Wildlife Service apparently understated the amount of actual wetland acreage. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to determine whether the same trend holds when a larger area is examined, and (2) to evaluate the accuracy of NWI maps using in-field delineations. When the analysis was extended to 260 sq. km., we noted that NWI maps excluded 26% of all areas mapped as open water, 66% mapped as having hydric soil, and 97% mapped as having sub-hydric soil. Thus, the trend observed in the analysis of the smaller area continued when the sample size was enlarged. The in-field delineations confirmed that areas mapped as having hydric and sub-hydric soils tended to contain wetland. This analysis confirmed our earlier conclusion that interested parties seeking to know whether a particular piece of property contains wetlands should not rely on NWI maps to provide that information.

This page posted and maintained by Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., Biology Department, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766. (570) 408-4758, kklemow@wilkes.edu.