Pre-1976 Easement Appeals Process

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working diligently to provide landowners with updated-format maps for all pre-1976 wetland easements.


The Service began sending out information about these pre-1976 easements via certified mail beginning on December 23, 2019. The certified mail correspondence includes:

  • An updated-format map depicting the protected wetland areas; the map is overlaid on a high-quality aerial image and includes an acreage estimate for each protected wetland area.
  • A copy of the wetland easement agreement.
  • Contact information for the District office you can contact with any questions.

What if I do not agree with the updated-format maps associated with my easement? Can I appeal the mapping determinations?

Yes. The correspondence about pre-1976 easements informs you of your right to appeal the mapping determinations. The appeals process allows you to work with the local District manager first. If a resolution cannot be reached at  the local level, you can appeal to the Regional Director of the Service and to the Director of the Service, if needed.

Note that if you do not contact the District manager within 40 days of receiving the certified mail correspondence, the updated-format easement map(s) will be considered final.

I received my updated-format maps between December 23, 2019, and May 4, 2020. What are the steps and timelines to request a reconsideration of my easement map?

  • If you received your updated-format maps between December 23, 2019, and May 4, 2020, you have 40 calendar days from the date you received the certified correspondence to contact the District manager and request reconsideration of your easement map. In addition to the initial 40 calendar days, you have 30 calendar days to come to a resolution with the District manager (for a total of 70 calendar days). After 70 calendar days have passed, the District Manager will issue a “Final Decision” letter. If your objections have not been resolved, you can appeal the “Final Decision” letter
  • If you want to appeal the “Final Decision” letter, you have 30 calendar days from the date you receive the “Final Decision” letter (via certified mail) to appeal to the Regional Director. In addition, know that the Regional Director is willing to meet to listen to your concerns. The Regional Director will review your appeal and make a decision on it within 45 calendar days of receipt of your letter. The Regional Director will send you a written explanation of her decision.
  • If your appeal is not granted by the Regional Director, you have 30 calendar days from the date you receive the Regional Director’s decision to submit your appeal to the Director of the Service. The Director of the Service will review and make a decision on your appeal within 45 calendar days of receipt of the appeal letter. The Director will send you a written explanation of her decision.
I received my updated-format maps on or after May 5, 2020. What are the steps and timelines to request a reconsideration of my easement map?

  • If you received your updated-format maps on or after May 5, 2020, you have 40 calendar days from the date you received the certified correspondence to contact the District manager and request a reconsideration of your easement map. After 40 calendar days have passed, the District Manager will issue a “Final Decision” letter. If your objections have not been resolved, you can appeal the “Final Decision” letter.
  • If you want to appeal the “Final Decision” letter, you have 30 calendar days from the date you receive the “Final Decision” letter (via certified mail) to appeal to the Regional Director. In addition, know that the Regional Director is willing to meet to listen to your concerns. The Regional Director will review your appeal and make a decision on it within 45 calendar days of receipt of your letter. The Regional Director will send you a written explanation of her decision.
  • If your appeal is not granted by the Regional Director, you have 30 calendar days from the date you receive the Regional Director’s decision to submit your appeal to the Director of the Service. The Director of the Service will review and make a decision on your appeal within 45 calendar days of receipt of the appeal letter. The Director will send you a written explanation of her decision.