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Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Nebraska Platte-Republican Resources Area CREP

CREP Annual Reports

CREP Authorization Documents

CREP Forms

CREP Presentations

The Nebraska Platte-Republican CREP Program has been in effect since April 4, 2005. The Nebraska Platte-Republican CREP is a combined program of the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency and the State of Nebraska whose goal is to improve water quality and quantity, and create or restore wildlife habitat by converting irrigated cropland to non-irrigated habitat. The elimination of irrigation reduces the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and atrazine that leaches into the ground and surface water and the vegetative buffers reduce run-off into streams and rivers. The Platte-Republican CREP resource area covers an approximate 2-mile stretch on either side of the Republican and Platte Rivers. It extends from the Wyoming border to Central Nebraska to include 100,000 cropland acres near the Republican and Platte rivers and their tributaries.

On February 17th, 2006 the first amendment to the Platte-Republican CREP Memorandum of Agreement between the State of Nebraska and the United States Department of Agriculture was signed into effect. This amendment opens up enrollment between the two basins. Previously, there was a 50,000 acre limit in each of the Platte and Republican River Basins. Now acres can be offered anywhere in the resource area, with one restriction. Above Lake McConaughy enrollment on lands served by surface water and groundwater irrigation or only surface water is restricted to 5,000 acres. This 5,000 acre cap has already been reached. Enrollment practice goals remain the same with 85,000 acres allotted for permanent native grasses, permanent wildlife habitat, and rare and declining habitat, 10,000 acres allotted for filter strips and riparian buffers, and 5,000 acres allotted for wetland restoration and non-floodplain wetland restoration.

The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources is responsible for approving the Water Use Contract to retire the use of water on the land enrolled in CREP for a period of ten to fifteen years. The Water Use Contract is a binding legal document between the applicant and the State to secure the beneficial use of the water historically applied to the land for the contract period. When the contract expires full use of the water enrolled in CREP is returned to the applicant. CREP applications and the accompanying Water Use Contracts that are associated with the use of natural flow surface water appropriations must also have an approved temporary surface water transfer before the Water Use Contract can be approved.