CREP offers a menu of 13 different conservation practices that you can choose from to improve your farm along streams or steep hillsides. Short summaries of each practice are available down below. CREP projects do involve some maintenance and weed control. There are some useful resources down below.

If you would prefer a short conversation to a lengthy reading assignment, a local CREP planner can help you evaluate your options. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

CREP Conservation Practices

CP1, Establishment of Permanent Introduced Grasses and Legumes

60% of introduced/planted perennial grasses and/or native perennial grasses must be present on the entire enrollment practice acres to be considered eligible for a new contract. The remaining 40% can be other species that are beneficial to wildlife. Reed canary and common reed can be part of the 40%, but not part of the 60%. Encroachment of tall fescue cannot exceed 10% of the cover. Woody vegetation encroachment into a grass practice is a non-compliance issue because the cover was not properly maintained.

-- CP1 Fact Sheet --

CP2, Establishment of Permanent Native Grasses

60% of native perennial grasses must be present on the entire enrollment practice acres to be considered eligible for a new contract. The remaining 40% can be native forbs or other species that are beneficial to wildlife. Reed canary and common reed can be part of the 40%, but not part of the 60%. Encroachment of tall fescue cannot exceed 10% of the cover. Tree encroachment into a grass practice is a non-compliance issue because the cover was not properly maintained.

-- CP2 Fact Sheet --

CP4D, Permanent Wildlife Habitat

50% or less of the existing practice acres is permitted to be woody vegetation (mix of trees and shrubs), while the remaining 50% or more may be herbaceous vegetation. Acceptable introduced or native perennial grasses include native warm-season or cool season perennial grasses and common introduced perennial grasses such as timothy, orchardgrass, bluegrasses and smooth bromegrass. Reed canary and common reed can be part of the 50% herbaceous vegetation. Encroachment of tall fescue cannot exceed 10% of the cover.

-- CP4D Fact Sheet --

CP8A, Grass Waterways

The original width must be present with no ruts. Must be 100% herbaceous cover (no woody vegetation), with 70% introduced and native perennial grasses. Encroachment of tall fescue cannot exceed 10% of the cover, excluding erosion control structures. The outlet must be stable.

-- CP8A Fact Sheet --

CP9, Shallow Water Areas for Wildlife

The dimensions and structural integrity of any embankment, berm, and/or emergency spillway has been maintained. Any appurtenances such as water control structures have been properly maintained and are functional. The structure must be functioning as a shallow water area into the early summer, not just fall, winter, and spring.

-- C9 Fact Sheet --

CP12, Wildlife Food Plot

PA CREP policy limits size to 1/2 acre per every 20 contiguous acres of CREP CP1, 2, 3A, and/or 4D practice acres. Food plots exceeding this size limit must be sown to permanent cover.

-- CP12 Fact Sheet --

CP15A, Establishment of Permanent Vegetative Cover

Contour Grass Strips – The original width must still be present, and must still be on the contour and not have developed areas of concentrated flow into the stream (sheet or uniform flow instead). Must have herbaceous vegetation that is thick and lush at the soil surface throughout, in order to filter sediment and absorb nutrients.

-- CP15A Fact Sheet --

CP21, Filter Strips

The original width must still be present, and must not have developed areas of concentrated flow into the stream (sheet or uniform flow instead). Must have herbaceous vegetation that is thick and lush at the soil surface throughout, in order to filter sediment and absorb nutrients. Tall fescue cannot be used as a seeding option.

-- CP21 Fact Sheet --

CP22, Riparian Buffers

60% canopy cover (OR 70% of the number of trees originally planted) of native trees and shrubs must be present at the end of the current contract. Canopy cover or number of stems of woody vegetation can include volunteer native trees and/or shrubs.

-- CP22 Fact Sheet --

CP23, Wetland Restoration

The dimensions and structural integrity of any embankment, berm, ditch plug and/or emergency spillway has been maintained. Any appurtenances such as water control structures have been properly maintained and are functional. The project must be functioning as a wetland, including meeting wetland hydrology criteria.

-- CP23 Fact Sheet --

CP29, Marginal Pastureland Wildlife Habitat Buffer

For contracts before October 25, 2004 there must be a 20 foot minimum width and for contracts after October 25, 2004, there must be a 50 foot minimum width. For contracts after October 25, 2004, the first 35 feet shall not be mowed. Because the original CREP was amended from a 20 foot to 50 foot minimum, when the expiring practice is the 20 foot minimum, it may be eligible for an enhancement to the 50 foot minimum.

-- CP29 Fact Sheet --

CP30, Marginal Pastureland Wetland Buffer

A 20 foot minimum width must exist.

-- CP30 Fact Sheet --

CREP Program and Promotional Resources


Woodland Management Resources


Grassland Management Resources

Managing Invasives in CREP Lands


CREPPA.org Email Newsletter Archive

Regional Fact Sheets & Annual Reports