About the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary land retirement program that helps agricultural producers protect environmentally sensitive land, decrease erosion, restore wildlife habitat, and safeguard ground and surface water. CREP is an offshoot of the country's largest private-lands environmental improvement program - the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Like CRP, CREP is administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). Through CREP, farmers can receive double annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract (10-15 years).
Individuals interested in a Conservation Easement through CREP may receive a sign up incentive of $250 (30 year Easement) or $1,000 (Permanent Easement). A conservation easement is a written agreement between a landowner and the state of North Carolina in which there is an acquired interest in the land to install conservation practices that protect natural resources. The conservation easement exists for 30 years or permanently, depending on the landowner's choice. With CREP, the landowner voluntarily limits future use of the land for activities such as crop farming and development, yet retains private ownership.