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Conservation Compliance

Pennsylvania Conservation Compliance

Conservation Compliance

In order to maintain eligibility for most USDA programs, producers must comply with the Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions, agreeing they will not:

  • Produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without an adequate conservation system;
  • Plant an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland;
  • Convert a wetland to make possible the production of an agricultural commodity.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is responsible for providing program participants technical assistance and determinations to assist them in complying with the provisions.

HELC/WC Technical Resources

Given the geographical differences of wetlands, soils, and climate in each State, information and technical resources specific to Pennsylvania’s implementation of the HELC/WC provisions are provided below:

Pennsylvania Resources

  • Highly Erodible HEL Soils Lists are on the Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). (Official list of soils that can erode at an excessive rate from either water or wind because of soil properties.)
    • Go to for FOTG.
    • Under “State,” select Pennsylvania and click the “Submit” button
    • Click on Section II > Soils Information > Highly Erodible Soils List
    • Click on the desired county name to download a PDF of the historic Frozen HEL table.
  • Hydric Soils List is available on the State Soil Data Access (SDA) page.
PA JAA 062920 (91.42 KB)
(List of Agency experts that possess the requisite training, knowledge, skills, and abilities to issue technical determinations and decisions.)

Pennsylvania Methods for Wetland Determinations are based on the following guidance documents and procedures: 





Go to for the National NRCS Conservation Compliance webpage

Melissa Hanner

Resource Soil Scientist, Compliance Specialist

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