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Would you like to be paid for land set aside as a stream buffer? 

Take a closer look at the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). CREP is a joint federal and state funded program that restores riparian (streamside) habitat for salmon and protects that habitat for 10-15 years. Most of the funding (80%) comes from the Farm Service Agency with the remainder through the Conservation Commission.  CREP plants native trees and shrubs to improve riparian conditions and enhance wetlands along salmon streams.  All of the costs for these improvements are paid by the program.  In addition, the program provides oversight and maintenance for about five years after planting to assure success.  The landowners are paid rent for allowing their land to be used for fish and wildlife improvements and receive a monetary bonus for signing up.  Interested landowners should contact their local conservation district.

Contact Ryan Williams to learn more at ryanw(at)snohomishcd.org or call 425-377-7002.


CREP Basics

  • CREP encourages landowners to voluntarily establish forested riparian buffers on private agricultural lands adjacent to salmon streams
  • Land is enrolled in a 10- or 15- year contract.
  • CREP is funded jointly by the State of Washington and the US Department of Agriculture.
  • The Snohomish Conservation District provides technical staff to implement CREP. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Land must be adjacent to a salmon-bearing stream.
  • Land must not be currently functioning as a forested riparian buffer as determined by the SCD technician.
  • Land must be able to support native trees and shrubs.



Allowable Costs

  • Site preparation
  • Herbicide applications
  • Native trees and shrubs
  • Seedling protectors
  • Fencing
  • Off-Channel watering 

Enrollment Incentives

  • Annual rental payments ranging from $88-$232 per acre per year, depending upon the soil type(s) on the site.
  • Signing incentive payment of $100/acre for 10-year contracts and $150/acre for 15-year contracts.
  • Reimbursement of 100% of eligible implementation costs.
  • Reimbursement of 100% of eligible maintenance costs for up to five years.

Buffer Widths

  • Minimum buffer widths range from 35’ to 100’ depending upon the width of the floodplain on the site but is generally close to 100’.
  • The maximum buffer width is 180’ on all sites.
  • Buffer averaging can be used in areas where the minimum width cannot be met (i.e. around buildings).
  • Landowners can enroll all or part of a stream length, and one or both sides of a stream.