Monday, April 18, 2011

Guest Post - a CREP buffer on Kamm Creek

This is the segment of Kamm Creek near the confluence with the Nooksack River where Lee, on her recent canoe trip, observed the wide variety of bird species (see previous post). It once looked like some of the other areas she photographed along Kamm Creek. As a project planner with Whatcom Conservation District, I am proud that we were able to work with the landowners of this parcel to establish the stream buffer in the above photo. This project is part of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). The project included installing 29 acres of buffer, with 17,000 seedlings planted, and also included protecting a large wetland complex along the creek.

Text and photo were submitted by Wayne Chaudiere, Resource Specialist, Whatcom Conservation District.

The Whatcom Conservation District is located at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden, WA

(360) 354-2035, or


  1. Nice work - glad to hear about it (and see it!!!)

  2. So, I love the look of the landscape post-buffer, and am glad for its function of protecting the water course. I'm wondering, though, what the farmer's net income looks like when the CREP buffer (are there payments involved?) is combined with regular income from farmland. If they exist, are the CREP buffer payments in perpetuity? Does the whole process make income more stable for the farmer? Etc.

  3. CREP participants get reimbursed for installing buffers along streams. The amount of money earned is based on the type and potential productivity of the soil. CREP buffers around Lynden and Kamm Creek have a high rental rate per acre, and can be over $600 per acre, per year. Berry crop land has a very high value right now - so the CREP rental rates may not offer as much money as an actual crop. But consider this: a lot less effort is required to maintain a buffer planting than growing, harvesting, and marketing a crop. CREP agreements are valid for 10 or 15 years. At this time, CREP participants, upon completion of a 10 or 15 year agreement, may renew their agreement an additional 10 or 15 years.