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Monthly Meeting: Vernal Pools

Shallow ephemeral wetlands, or vernal pools, occur in very small to rarely large depressions throughout the exposed, volcanic scablands on the Columbia Plateau, where this ecological system is considered to be “Imperiled”.  On the Hanford Site, vernal pools were first documented in the mid-1990’s by The Nature Conservancy, but have not been observed or studied since then.  Last year (2016-2017) was an especially wet winter (like a few years in the mid-1990’s), and over 25 pools were identified on site.  The size, timeline, vegetation, and aquatic life in the vernal pools on Umtanum Ridge, Gable Butte, and Gable Mountain were monitored from late winter to late summer.  Come hear about the difference these pools make to the ecology of our very hot and dry region.