Farmers, please contact NRCS officials and your Congressional delegation in opposition to the NRCS plan to adopt off-site methods for making wetland determinations.  The deadline for official comments to the NRCS is this Friday, Feb. 20.

It is extremely important to make your comments known on this measure.  South Dakota NRCS is planning to use Off-Site Methods to determine wetlands on farm ground.  This process will use remote sensing which includes photos, USFWS National Wetlands Inventory maps, soil maps and other tools that are in the NRCS office without going to the site and getting a visual of the landscape, probing the soil.  

South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) believes we have off-site methods that have been in place for years, so why reinvent the process. Also, farmers should have the right to request an on-site visit for a determination. SDFB is very concerned with the current misuse of color tones used with the current process of determining wetland. Until that misuse is corrected, we will not support the proposed State Off-Site Method for determining wetlands.

Here are a few general suggestions to consider when making comments.

  • Be concise and support your claim by how it will impact you on your farm
  • One well-supported comment can be more influential than 1,000 words in your letter
  • The is no minimum or maximum length for a comment

 To get started, go to this link on the Federal Register website:!docketDetail;D=NRCS-2014-0013

  • Click on “Comment Now” on the right-hand side
  • Click on “Tips for Submitting Effective Comments” (optional)
  • Continue down to the word “Comment”
  • Type in your comments here, OR
  • Choose the “Upload Files” tab if you have your comments pre-written and want to upload your Word document
  • Below the comment area, fill in all fields (ones with * are required)
  • Continue, edit if desired, and click “Submit Comment”
  • Be sure to check the box “I read and understand the statement above.”
If you'd also like to contact your elected officials and the NRCS officials, that would be helpful.

The message you can deliver is: “We want technically and procedurally accurate wetland determinations.  We are not getting them now because South Dakota NRCS is not following NRCS policy.  We need your help to correct this problem.”

 Please contact these officials: