Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
NOTE: CREP enrollment is suspended at this time.
For over 20 years, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has been a successful partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The goals of CREP are to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff, improve water quality, and create and enhance critical habitat for fish and wildlife populations on private lands within the Illinois and Kaskaskia River Watersheds.
In CREP, landowners enroll frequently flooded and environmentally sensitive cropland in a Federal CREP contract, with FSA. IDNR extends the terms of that Federal contract by enrolling the land into an Illinois CREP Grant of Conservation Right and Easement Agreement beyond the expiration of the Federal contract. In exchange for voluntarily removing land from production, landowners received compensation to implement conservation practices that contribute to the goals of CREP. With over 90% of land in Illinois privately owned, programs like CREP are essential to effectively address important environmental issues.