Landowners looking to restore and preserve their land now have the opportunity to do so with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). This program focuses on environmentally sensitive lands such as areas next to waterbodies and marginal farm land, and pays landowners to permanently conserve these areas. Through CREP, landowners receive financial incentives from both the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) to voluntarily enroll land in a perpetual conservation easement. CREP is available in 54 counties in Minnesota, including Scott County. Many landowners are working on coming into compliance with the new buffer law, and enrolling in CREP puts them in compliance. There is funding available to enroll 60,000 acres statewide into the program, providing multiple benefits to the state including flood mitigation, additional habitat for wildlife and pollinators, and reduced nitrogen in drinking water. Landowners who enroll in CREP are not only preserving their land, they are also contributing to larger conservation efforts throughout Minnesota. More information on CREP can be found at bwsr.state.mn.us/crep or by contacting the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District staff at 952-492-5425.
Photo Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency