Skip Navigation

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.

Rhode Island HELC and WC provision information

State HELC contact:

Eric Boettger
Resource Conservationist

State WC provision contact:

James Turenne
Assistant State Soil Scientist

State HELC and WC technical resources

Given the geographical differences of wetlands, soils, and climate in each state; information and technical resources specific to Rhode Island implementation of the HELC/WC provisions are provided below:

Rhode Island HEL and PHEL soils:

Highly Erodible HEL Soils Lists - Lists the soils that can erode at an excessive rate from either water or wind because of soil properties. All Soils for Providence, Kent, Washington, Bristol, Newport Counties are listed.

State Offsite Methods (SOSM) for Wetland Determinations – Rhode Island NRCS is currently working on our State Offsite Methods for Wetland Determinations. Until it is approved we are using the State Mapping Conventions for Wetland Conservation determination.

SOSM Technical Data

Climatic Data for Normal Circumstances - Denotes years with normal precipitation used in the SOSM. See part 650 of the National Engineering Handbook, Chapter 19: Hydrology Tools for Wetland Determination.

Wetland Conservation Provision Job Approval Authority - List of agency experts that possess the requisite training, knowledge, skills, and abilities to issue technical determinations and decisions.

Other Rhode Island Resources

Wetland Functional Assessment Protocol - A model that provides a functional assessment of a wetland.

Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Determination form (NRCS-CPA-026e)

Conservation Compliance fact sheet