Wetland clear-cutting stopped by Riverkeeper report

The site of wetlands clear-cutting in the Trent Woods area.

A New Bern developer found out this week that mowing down trees in a wetland is not a good idea.

Last Thursday, Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop responded to a call from a Trent Woods resident reporting that bulldozers were razing a neighboring tract of land — in a wetland.

“He pays attention to the land, and he was aware that they were on a wetland,” Sam said.

Sam met the caller on site on Friday afternoon to check out the area being cut and agreed it’s a designated wetland.

“My big concern is that this is at the headwaters of Lawson Creek, which is a pretty big tributary of the Neuse,” she said.

Further research determined no wetland permits had been issued for the area, so Sam put in a call to the Division of Water Resources. When a DWR representative visited the site on Monday, they agreed with the designated-wetland assessment and put an immediate halt to the clearing of the land.

According to DWR, several permits are required to clearcut the area, none of which had been applied for by the owner/developer.

“There’s a wetland delineation permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and a stream determination from DWR has to be done, where they come out and walk the stream and determine where it is and where the buffers are,” Sam said.

At the least, it will be months before any more clear-cutting can happen, if it can happen at all.

“I’m hoping for some protective buffers from those two agencies,” she said.