The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is a voluntary program designed to benefit both farms and fish. The program compensates farmers for growing a different crop in stream-side areas of their property— a riparian buffer!
What is CREP?
CREP is a partnership between the State and Federal governments that was created to restore and protect critical fish habitat. However, there are many other benefits in improving a riparian zone. Planting native trees and shrubs alongside streams and rivers provides habitat for other wildlife, protects water quality, stabilizes stream banks, reduces erosion, creates shade that lowers water temperatures and provides attractive borders for privacy and protection.
Benefits for You
Flexible buffer design. We realize that not all land is the same. Our CREP coordinator provides the technical assistance in developing a plan for the buffer. The coordinator will work with you to develop a plan that aligns with your goals for your property while also making sure the project meets program requirements.
As the landowner, you will receive a yearly rental payment for the length of the contract. The rental rate is determined at time of enrollment. Contracts are between 10 and 15 years—you decide! You will also receive a one-time signing bonus.
Installation Costs Covered. CREP pays the full installation costs of the buffer plantings, a fence for livestock operators, and a watering facility if necessary. The first 5 years of maintenance are also paid for by CREP!
Option to re-enroll. At the end of the contract, you will have the option to re-enroll to continue the yearly rental rates.
Is CREP Right for You?
In order to enroll in CREP, you must be the landowner or operator for at least 12 months. The land must be marginal pastureland or cropland with a cropping history, and have the ability to support the required vegetation. Additionally, the property must border eligible stream segments. Generally, the stream segments must have at least one species of Pacific salmon or steelhead present.
Site assessments are no-obligation. During a site visit, the CREP Coordinator will discuss buffer design options, provide an estimate of your rental rate, and address your questions and concerns.