Supreme Court Won’t Review Wetland Determination Case

potholes_Waubay Wetland Mgmt Dist_SD_credit USFWS

The U.S. Supreme Court will not review a wetland determination case involving a wetland of less than one acre. The case involves a decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and their ruling to uphold the U.S Department of Agriculture wetland determination on a Miner County, South Dakota farm.

The case centers on the method USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) used to determine that a 0.8-acre area on the farm qualified as a wetland. NRCS based its determination on a proxy site 33 miles away. The landowners said that the proxy site was not "in the local area," as required by USDA regulations. The determination limited the owner's eligibility for farm assistance programs. In its ruling, the 8th Circuit Court said in the interpretation that "local area" refers to one of dozens of major land resource areas in the country.