Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A letter to USDA

Dear USDA (United States Department of Agriculture),

Today we received a letter from you. Apparently on June 3 you came out to our land and decided that our land is Highly Erodible Land (HEL). Not all of our land, just the 2.94 acres that currently have crops on them, corn to be precise.

According to your department, we have 30 days to dispute this claim or we must forever hold our piece. If we choose too, we can pay $20 an hour to hire a mediator so we can work together to sort this out. But, before we go forward with this, I have some questions...

1. What is Highly Erodible Land?
2. Why do I need to have UHEL (meaning the land is Un-Highly Erodible Land?)
3. Lastly, if I do not call you and dispute this fact, do I go to HEL?

Yours Truly,

Lancaster's Edge

OK, but seriously...why is the government concerned with my 2.94 acres of land being HEL? I asked my neighbors and they too were informed that a portion of their land was HEL today. After a brief conversation with them, we have decided not to dispute this claim. The fact is, this is an acreage not farmland. I am open to anymore feedback or knowledge on this subject, but as of now, I think I am ready to move on.


  1. Rob - I had to pull up my notes from Agriculture Environmental Law, but I can tell you, your HEL classification has to do with how you are allowed to use your land. As HEL, you can't plant crops, but if you don't farm, that shouldn't be a problem. Having HEL land also qualifies you for certain government land preservation programs. Thought you'd like to know! (All in all, no big deal if you aren't farming.)

    -Katie Navratil

  2. Wow, thanks Katie. I did not know this. We are not planning on planting crops in an agricultural way so we are not worried about the HEL classification.

  3. I have decided that until you fix this problem, I will not be visiting your new house...I do not want to go to HEL just yet...

  4. Kris! You need to come visit anyway, if you read my post USDA pt. 2 you will see that this is all but cleared up. :)