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Holyoke Conservation Commission

Welcome to the official website of the Holyoke Conservation Commission! The three major roles of the Commission are to:

  1. Review project proposals for compliance with state and local wetland regulations
  2. Issue enforcement orders for violations within wetlands jurisdictional areas
  3. Actively conserve high priority wetland resources for the public good

Please click one of the pages below to learn more about how the Holyoke Conservation Commission fulfills its various functions.

Regulated Activities: A brief outline defining wetland resource categories, jurisdiction, and regulated activities within these areas

Current Members: Listing of the current members and their term limits

Upcoming Meetings: Access instructions and yearly schedule for public Commission meetings

Wetland Forms and Filing Requirements: Forms and instructions for different wetland permit applications

Do I have Wetlands on or Near My Property?: How to find out if a project or activity is within a regulated area

Conservation Commission FAQs: Frequently asked questions about wetlands conservation in Holyoke



Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act

Holyoke Wetlands Protection Ordinance

Conservation Commission FAQs

Due to the popularity of Holyoke’s watershed properties – according to the OSRP, people love them! – we frequently get calls and questions about the watershed properties and, oftentimes, people want to know about day-to-day management activities.  The Holyoke Water Department has an existing Watershed Management Plan that specifically spells out what does, and does not, need a filing with the Conservation Commission.  This is an interesting and educational document, and it is worth reading, as it will answer most questions about land management.

The Holyoke Water Department’s Watershed Management Plan, excerpted

Living with Wildlife- Beavers in Massachusetts

Citizen’s Guide to Beaver Permitting

Guidance for Conservation Commissions and Boards of Health .

Most Holyoke human-beaver conflicts have been successfully resolved by the installation of water flow devices- also known as “Beaver Deceivers”.  Read more about water flow devices.

Resolving Human-Beaver Conflicts- Water Flow Devices

MassWildlife offers additional resources including information on how Massachusetts law prohibits the dismantling or disturbance of beaver dams and beaver lodges.  Note that wildlife in Massachusetts may not be trapped and relocated.

Several tracts of land in Holyoke have been designated by the Commonwealth of MA as Habitat of Potential Regional or Statewide Importance and Land of High Ecological IntegrityFor maps of these areas and additional information on permitting requirements in these areas,  please see the Mass CAPS website and DEP. (New as of June 2008)

The MA Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program is responsible for protection and conservation of rare and endangered plants and animals in the Commonwealth of MA.  Nearly 47% of Holyoke is designated as Priority Habitat for Rare Species or Estimated Habitat of Rare Wetlands Wildlife and is therefore subject to additional permitting by NHESP.    For additional information, use this link  Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

The Holyoke Conservation Commission has been instrumental in coordinating control and removal of the 16-acre water chestnut infestation at Log Pond Cove on the Connecticut River since 1998.  The project is an example of the value of partnerships in achieving environmental goals.  In 2004, the project was presented at the 13th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species in Ireland.

You may see signs at construction sites which have DEP File No. 186-xxx on them.  These signs indicate that the project has been approved by the Conservation Commission and DEP and an Order of Conditions has been issued.  186 indicates that the project is in Holyoke and the last 3 digits indicate the file number.

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