What is a Wetland?

Idaho has many unique wetlands which are found scattered in different environments across the state.

Wetlands have a vital role in our environment. Wetlands are a natural filter system. Wetland plants remove toxins from water and sediment. Freshwater wetlands act as sponges and soak up excess water, reducing flood conditions. Wetlands reduce the erosion impact of storms. Wetlands also provide a habitat for numerous wildlife and plant species.

Wetlands in Idaho are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and have a protected status. The Corps uses three characteristics to decide if an area is a wetland: vegetation indicators; soil indicators; and hydrology indicators.

Visit the following web sites to learn more about wetlands:

dot2.jpg (399 bytes) EPA Wetlands Information: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/text.html

dot2.jpg (399 bytes) Links to Wetland Sites: http://www.usbr.gov/ecology/eri3a.html

dot2.jpg (399 bytes) National Wetlands Research Center: http://www.nwrc.gov/

dot2.jpg (399 bytes) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Research: http://www.wes.army.mil/el/wetlands/wetlands.html

dot2.jpg (399 bytes) Wetlands Restoration & Education: http://www.wetland.org/

Text and photos courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
and the Digital Atlas of Idaho 2000.