Conservation Reserve
Enhancement Program
(CREP)

In 2013, KBRT took on the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).  CREP’s purpose is to provide financial incentives and technical assistance to private landowners so that they may protect water quality and restore fish and wildlife habitat in eligible water bodies through the establishment of riparian buffers.  While a national program, CREP receives partial state funding, and prioritizes state priorities.  In Oregon, goals include:

  • Reduce the rate of stream water heating to ambient levels
  • Provide a mechanism for farmers and ranchers to voluntarily meet water quality requirements under Federal and State water quality laws
  • Provide adequate riparian buffers on 2,000 stream miles to permit natural restoration of stream hydraulic and geomorphic characteristics that meet the habitat requirements for salmon and trout
  • Attain annual enrollment goals for specified geographic regions in Oregon until the 100,000-acre cap is fulfilled

Agricultural landowners who enroll eligible acreage into a 10-15 year CREP contract receive annual rental payments for the length of the contract.  They are also eligible for cost share assistance and other financial incentives. A buffer is typically a minimum of 35’ to a maximum average of 180’ away from the stream.  

Financial Incentives

Annual Rental Payments -

  • Landowners receive annual rental payments for enrolled acreage.
    • Irrigated rental rate: $208.50/acre
      • Requires in-stream leasing of certificated water right
    • Non-irrigated rental rate: $76.50/acre
  • For cropland, an estimated rental rate is based on soil type.
  • For pasture, the base rental rate has been established for perennial and intermittent streams in each county in the state.

Cost-Share Payments -

Landowners receive cost-share payments for restoration practices once the practices are completed.  Landowners are reimbursed 75% (50% from USDA, 25% from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board), for eligible project costs.

One-time Payments -

  • Signing Incentive Payment (SIP)– $100/acre for contracts that include a filter strip or riparian forest buffer, this is paid when the contract is signed.
  • Practice Incentive Payment (PIP)– 40% of eligible project costs for contracts that include a filter strip or riparian forest buffer, this is paid when the project is completed within the first 4 years of the contract.
  • Cumulative Impact Incentive Bonus (CIIB)– For contracts that enroll over 50% of the streambank in a 5-mile segment of stream into CREP (one or multiple landowners).<

Every property is different; to assess the types of projects available on your property, please contact KBRT.