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Conservation Program Appeals

Definition of an Appeal

An appeal is a written request by an NRCS or USDA applicant or participant of any technical determination or decision made by the agency that an applicant or participant might consider to be adverse to their interests. The decisions may include any of the following examples:

  • Highly Erodible Land Determinations
  • Wetland Determinations or Violations
  • Conservation Program Eligibility
  • Conservation Program Contract Violations
  • Easement Violations
  • Non-Compliance with Regulations
  • Other Program Issues

Appeal Requirements

Any person that receives an adverse technical determination or decision from NRCS must be given rights to appeal the decision. This authority, as set forth in Title II of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, 7 U.S.C. 6995 (Public Law 103-354), and 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 614, provides the NRCS appeals process.  The following are the required appeal rights that must be offered by NRCS when issuing an adverse technical determination or program decision.

Preliminary Technical Determinations:
  • Field review for reconsideration to the local Designated Conservationist in the county where the determination has been made.
  • Reconsideration by the NRCS State Conservationist.
  • Mediation.
  • Request for Expedited Finality.
Final Technical Determinations or Program Decisions:
  • Appeal to the FSA County Committee or the NRCS State Conservationist for Title XII conservation program final technical determinations or program decisions.
  • Appeal to the NRCS State Conservationist for non-Title XII conservation program final technical determinations or program decisions.
  • Mediation, if not previously offered in the preliminary phase of the technical determination.
  • Appeal to the National Appeals Division (NAD).

Documents and Multimedia

These documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Excel, Windows Media Player.

NAD Appeal Implementation Reports
NRCS NAD Appeal Implementation Report June 2010 (PDF, 39KB)

NRCS NAD Appeal Implementation Report December 2009 (XLS, 39KB)

NRCS NAD Appeal Implementation Report June 2009 (XLS, 54KB)

NRCS NAD Appeal Implementation Report March 11, 2009 (XLS, 43KB)


 
NRCS Appeals Brochures
Appeals (PDF, 1.6MB)

Equitable Relief (PDF, 1.6MB)

Relief Mediation (PDF, 1.6MB)

 
Guidance and Regulations
NAD Hearing Officer's Guide (PDF, 1.10MB)

FSA Final Appeals Regulation 7 CFR  May 30, 2006 (PDF, 79KB) 

FSA Interim Final Appeals 7 CFR 780  July 27, 2005 (PDF, 87KB) 

NRCS Interim Final Appeals Regulation 7 CFR 614 May 16, 2006  (PDF, 92KB)

 
Multimedia
Equitable Relief from Program Violations July 31, 2007 (WMV, 5MB)

NRCS Appeal Process: Technical Determination or Program Decision?  July 24, 2007 (WMV, 5MB) 

Appeals Overview, Avoiding Major Pitfalls, and Future Tools/Training Availability  July 17, 2007 (WMV, 10MB)

Equitable Relief Net Meeting, June 28, 2005 (WMV, 30MB)

Conservation Program Appeals Net Meeting June 21, 2005 (WMV, 65MB)

Decision Making Net Meeting June 6, 2005 (WMV, 43MB)

 

Selected Appeals Links