This brochure was prepared jointly by
                                        Weflahds and
                                        Sebtiort 404 of the
                                                Wetter Act
                                                         in th
                                     1   Po^d Security Act
 or additional tof6rm:dt!6h
     VVetlands Information Hotline , :
 .-.  ./'.. -. 1:800:832-7328' ;,.;.;.:;; T
Monday-Fridqy^9;00;amto 5:30 pm (EST)
'The Hotline;, ts contractor operated "and
   provides,confidentiaj- referrals, and
. .  Inforrnatlori reggrdir^g; watlanq(s.. .
                                        Contact the Natural Resources
                                        Conservation Service to Identify
                                        Weftands on Your Farm
                                        Program Aid 1546

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 Whaf are wetlands?
 Wetlands are areas that are inundated or satu-
 rated by surface or ground water at a frequen-
 cy and duration sufficient to support, and that
 under normal circumstances do support, a
 prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for
 life in saturated soil conditions. For further
 guidance on whether your land contains wet-
 lands, contact your local Natural Resources
 Conservation Service (NRCS) office, former-
 ly the Soil Conservation Service.

 What is the  Swampbuster
 provision?
 The Wetland Conservation provision
 (Swampbuster) of the 1985 and 1990 farm
 bills requires all agricultural producers to
 protect the wetlands on the farms they own or
 operate if they want to be eligible for USDA
 farm program benefits. Producers will not be
 eligible if thly plant an agricultural commod-
 ity on a converted wetland that was convert-
 ed by drainage, leveling, or any other means
 after December 23, 1985, or convert a wet-
 land for the purpose of or to make agricultur-
 al commodity production possible after
 November 28, 1990.

 What does Section 404 require?
 Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA)
 requires a landowner to obtain a permit from
 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
 prior to beginning any non-exempt activity
 involving the placement of dredged or fill
 material in waters of the United States,
 including wetlands. Certain ongoing, normal
 farming practices in wetlands are exempt and
 do not require a permit (see list of exempted
 activities). In order to be exempt, the activi-
 ties cannot be associated with bringing a wet-
 land into agricultural production or convert-
 ing an agricultural wetland to a non-wetland
 area.

 How does the Swampbuster pro-
 gram relate to CWA Section 404?
 Generally, areas subject to regulation under
 Swampbuster and CWA Section 404 are the
same, but there are differences. Some activi-
ties that are exempted under Swampbuster
may require a CWA Section 404 permit while
some Section 404 permitted activities may be
subject to Swampbuster. Before beginning
any activity affecting a wetland, contact your
local Corps district or NRCS office.
fro
iqii
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mi
 What is prior converted
 cropland?
 Prior converted croplands (PC) are wetlands
 that were drained, dredged, filled, leveled, or
 otherwise manipulated, including the removal
 of woody vegetation, before December 23,
 1985, to make production of an agricultural
 commodity possible, and that (1) do not meet
 specific hydrologic criteria, (2) have had an
 agricultural commodity planted or produced
 at least once prior to December 23, 1985, and
 (3) have not since been abandoned. Activities
 in prior converted cropland are not regulated
 under Swampbuster or CWA Section 404.

 What happens  if 1 don't farm my
 prior converted cropland and
 wetland conditions return?
 If prior converted cropland is not planted to
 an agricultural commodity for more than 5
 consecutive years and wetland characteristics
 return, the cropland is considered abandoned
 and then becomes a wetland subject to regu-
 lation under Swampbuster and CWA Section
 404.

 What are farmed wetlands?
 Farmed wetlands (FW) are similar to prior
 converted cropland in that they were drained,
 dredged, filled, leveled, or otherwise manipu-
 lated before December 23, 1985, to make
 production of an agricultural commodity pos-
 sible, but are often wet enough to still be
 valuable wetland habitat subject to
 Swampbuster and CWA Section 404. Farmed
 wetlands include potholes, playas, pocosins,
 and other manipulated and cropped areas that
 meet specific hydrologic criteria.

 How do I know if I have wetlands,
 prior converted croplands, or
 farmed wetlands on my property?
 To be sure about the status of wetlands on
 your farm, contact your local NRCS office.
NRCS is the lead Federal agency responsible
for  wetland delineations on agricultural land
for  both Swampbuster and CWA Section 404.
NRCS conservationists can also advise you
 on how to comply with Swampbuster. The
Corps is the lead Federal agency responsible
for  wetland delineations on non-agricultural
land for anyone who does not participate in
USDA programs. For questions regarding
CWA Section 404 provisions, contact your
local Corps office.

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