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