Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
CREP was started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect highly erodible soils along salmon-bearing streams. The Washington State Conservation Commission determines which streams are eligible. In Benton County, eligible streams include the Yakima River, Glade Creek, parts of Spring Creek, parts of Snipes Creek, parts of Amon waterway, and lower Corral Creek. The CREP program offers reimbursement for planting costs, maintenance costs, and a rental rate. The program is delivered through the Farm Service Agency, but technical support and maintenance fees are given through the Benton Conservation District.
Become a CREP Site
Property enrolled in CREP must be in agricultural production (pastures eligible) and be owned by the landowner for a minimum of two years. Benton Conservation District staff will meet with you onsite to evaluate the land as well as potential benefits to stream recovery, and to outline any legal concerns. If the landowner wishes to continue, they will meet with Farm Service Agency to begin working on the contracts through the CREP/and the Conservation Reserve Program.
Benton Conservation District's Role:
The BCD will help in:
Creating applications for CREP
Conducting individual site assessments
Introducing new techniques to landowners
Providing technical support during and after planting
If you are interested, Benton Conservation District staff can assist your community and help with individual plans. For more general information on the national and state program, visit Washington state's CREP website.