FALL 2017 

News and Updates

The CREP Outreach Program Office
PA Association of Conservation Districts
25 North Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17101

In This Issue
During this past quarter, workshops were held for both CREP partners and potential CREP participants in the Delaware River Basin.  District and agency staff can now identify good potential candidates for CREP, explain the program to them, and help them take the first steps in beginning the application process.   
You'll also see that PA DCNR has been busy with promoting forest buffers in the state.  Check the articles on the Stream ReLeaf program and also on the DCNR - PennVEST grant for buffers.   
Be sure to read through the articles for more information on these and other topics.  
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No events are scheduled at this time. 
Newsletter Submissions:


- Send to info@creppa.org 

- Keep submissions short; no longer than three paragraphs.  

- For longer submissions provide a short introduction and the artiicle in pdf format that will be linked to the newsletter.

- Web pages and images you provide can be linked to your article.  

- Your submission may also be added to the CREP facebook page or website.   

Delaware River Basin, CREP Partner Training held at Penn State Lehigh Campus
Earlier this year, The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) opened in Pennsylvania's Delaware River Basin (DRB). The U.S. Department of Agric ulture (USDA) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are partners in implementing this voluntary program to e nroll up to 20,000 acres of agricultural land in Pike, Monroe, Northampton, Lehigh, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware counties. 
On August 22, 2017, the CREP Outreach Program Office at the PA Association of Conservation Disctricts (PACD) held a workshop for CREP Partners and Associates in the DRB.  Thirty-six conservation district staff, government agency staff and other CREP partners in and around the DRB attended this workshop at Penn State's Lehigh Valley Campus.   
Being a new program in the DRB, it is important for partners who work with potentially eligible landowners understand the program.  The workshop introduced CREP partners to the eligibility requirements, approved conservation practices, enrollment procedures and other program related information.  Those who attended now have a good understanding of CREP and will be able to answer questions from the public about the program.       
"Stream ReLeaf: Reinvigorating the Replanting of Pennsylvania's Streamsides,"
CREP Buffer, York County       Photo: PA DCNR.
On September 19th, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced their 2017 Chesapeake Stewardship Fund Grant recipients. Among the awarded projects is "Stream ReLeaf: Reinvigorating the Replanting of Pennsylvania's Streamsides," a riparian forest buffer project proposed by DCNR.
DCNR was awarded $750,000 to achieve the following objectives by 2021:
1) Formalize the Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee, a partnership of leaders in riparian forest buffer implementation in Pennsylvania. 
2) Develop new community-focused and producer-led riparian forest buffer marketing and outreach materials, and conduct an outreach campaign that resonates with landowner values and interests.
3) Increase technical assistance capacity and training opportunities through partnership with WPC, Conservation Districts, and others.
4) Fund the planting of 95 acres of riparian forest buffers in a seven-county project target area encompassing Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, and York Counties. Additionally, increase CREP acreage in the seven-county area by at least 95 acres.
5) Establish a formalized mechanism for tracking new Riparian Forest Buffers planted across Pennsylvania.
Contact Teddi Stark, Riparian Forest Buffer Coordinator, PA DCNR, Phone: 717.787.0656 or Email: c-tstark@pa.gov
Read about all of the newly awarded NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund projects at: http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Documents/2017grantslate.pdf"
The Suspension on Taking and Processing CRP Offers Does Not Affect CREP
An announcement came out on 10/6/2017 from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) National Office indicating that the FSA will not accept any new offers for CRP Continuous signup for FY2018 until further notice . This administrative measure has been taken to avoid exceeding the statutory cap of 24 million acres required in the 2014 Farm Bill.
However, the temporary suspension of taking and processing CRP offers does not affect CREP.    
Pennsylvania can continue accepting and processing new CREP offers for signup number 51 starting on October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.  Questions can be directed to Alexis Tirado
Agricultural Program Specialist, USDA-FSA Pennsylvania
To read the original notice, click HERE 
DCNR - PENNVEST Funded Riparian  
Forest Buffer Grants  
      Through a partnership between DCNR and PENNVEST,       $1 million of grant funding is being made available for the installation of riparian forest buffers across the Commonwealth!  
Lancaster County Buffer           Photo courtesy of PA DCNR 
The DCNR grant application period for this special fall round of funding will be open from October 2nd through 4pm on December 20th. Funding is available only to applicants who prequalify through demonstrating financial eligibility for this funding. Information about prequalification, as well as grant details and requirements, are available via the DCNR Grants Portal.   
To expand on the existing streamside buffer options for landowners, DCNR is piloting a multi-functional buffer option that is eligible for these grant dollars to provide greater flexibility in landowner eligibility, buffer designs, widths, plant species and offer the option of planting some income-producing crops in the buffer zone. For the PENNVEST-funded grants multi-functional buffers are preferred but not required.  
For more information, contact Kelly Rossiter at 717.772.3319 or krossiter@pa.gov."
Delaware River Basin,  
Landowner Workshops Held in September
Landowners in the Delaware Rive Basin were invited to attend one of two workshops designed to help them understand CREP and to determine if the program will work for them.  The workshops looked at the  benefits and responsibilities of CREP participants, eligibility requirements, how to apply and more.    
The workshops took place in Montgomery County on September 7, 2017 and in Monroe County on September 19, 2017.   
Contact the CREP Outreach Program Office : Terry Fisher, 717-238-7223 x11 or email tfisher@pacd.org for more information. 

Monroe County - CREP Landowners Workshop 
CREP Signs Are Available
CREP Participants can tell their neighbor s t hey are protecting  
water quality and wildlife by installing a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Sign on their property.  These high quality, powder coated, metal signs, measure 12" x 18" and will look good for many years.   Be sure to ask CREP participants in your county to install one of these signs to help spread the word about CREP.      
CREP Signs   
The signs are available from the CREP Outreach Program Office.   In addition to the signs, the outreach office has many other resources including literature on managing buffers, controlling noxious weeds and other CREP topics.   
To review the resources available or to order literature, brochures, etc. go to Resource tab at www.creppa.org.  To order signs contact Sandy Austin at saustin@pacd.org.   

Conservation District Watershed  
Spcialists Learn About CREP
Watershed specialists from conservation districts across the state attended the annual Conservation District Watershed Specialist Meeting on October 4-6, 2017, in State College.    
Watershed specialists routinely work with landowners and deal with water quality issues in their region.  CREP is one of tools they can use to help landowner meet water quality goals.   
To ensure the specialists have a good basic understanding of CREP,  Derrick McDonald, PA DEP and Terry Fisher, PACD co-presented a breakout session to discuss CREP guidelines, eligibility, DEP cost shares, contracts, conservation plans and conservation practices.  Twenty watershed specialists attended the breakout session and can now help landowners decide if this is a good program for their situation.    
Stay Connected...
The CREP Outreach Program Office has created a number of ways to share information among CREP partners, landowners already in CREP and people who are learning about the program. 

However, your participation is needed for these resources to be worthwhile.  Please take advantage of them by reading, sharing and contributing content.  Tell others about the resources available by forwarding this newsletter, posting information on your websites, sharing at workshops, etc.   
  1. The CREP PA Website,  www.CREPPA.org  was recently overhauled and given a new modern look, content was updated & added and navigation around the site was improved.  Whether you're just learning about CREP, are already enrolled or a technical partner there is something for you.   
  2. CREP Facebook Page is for CREP partners and participants alike. Share or learn about the CREP program, conservation practices, events and other program information.  Partners can submit information and news they want to share.  Submissions will be posted when received. Click HERE to go to the CREP PA Facebook page.  
  3. Pennsylvania CREP: News and Updates Newsletter is primarily for agencies, organizations and individuals working with CREP.  Stories, techniques, events and other things of interest are shared on a quarterly basis.  
  4. CREP Partner listserve is designed as a vehicle for anyone working with CREP to share ideas, ask questions, disseminate program information, etc.  It's simple to use and any member can post at anytime.  To join send a request with the email address you want added. 
To join the listserve, to submit content or to just make a comment -
send an email to info@creppa.org