Conservation Reserve enhancement program / reinvest in minnesota

Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (MN CREP)

What is MN CREP?

MN CREP is a voluntary, federal-state funded natural resource conservation program that targets environmentally sensitive land in 54 Counties in southern and western Minnesota. These are accomplished through permanent protection by establishing conservation practices via payments to farmers and agricultural land owners.

How does it work?

  • Landowners enroll in the federally-funded Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for 14 to 15 years.
  • CRP is administered by the USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA).
  • The same land is also enrolled into a state-funded perpetual conservation easement through the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve program administered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).
  • Note: Private ownership continues and the land is permanently restored and enhanced for conservation benefits.

Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Program

What is RIM?

In 1986, the Reinvest in Minnesota Resources Act was enacted to restore certain marginal land environmental sensitive agricultural land to protect soil and water quality and support fish and wildlife habitat. Currently the program focuses on permanent wetland restoration, adjacent native grassland wildlife habitat complexes and permanent riparian buffers.

RIM Reserve is implemented in cooperation with county SWCDs. The RIM Reserve program compensates landowners for granting conservation easements and establishing native vegetation habitat on economically marginal flood-prone, environmentally sensitive or highly erodible lands.

How does it work?

  • The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) acquires conservation easements to permanently protect, restore and manage critical natural resources without owning the land outright.
  • The land remains in private ownership.
  • Landowner retains responsibility for maintenance and paying applicable real estate taxes and assessments.

Interested in CREP/RIM - What do I do?

If you own a property in Watonwan County, MN and are interested to see the eligibility of enrollment, contact our office to start the process at (507) 375-1225.

  • Current CREP / RIM Batching Period has closed. Once another CREP / RIM Batching Period is open, it will be posted here.

Some Things to Consider

  1. The land is owned by individuals, family farms, family farm partnerships, authorized farm partnerships, family farm corporations, authorized farm corporations, some general partnerships, or estates and testamentary trust.
  2. The land must have been owned by the applicant, parent of the applicant or a blood relative of the applicant for at least one year before the date of application.
  3. There is a minimum acre requirement for the easement areas.
  4. The land must not be enrolled under another easement whose purpose conflicts with, or substantially duplicates, the terms of a RIM Reserve conservation easement. Evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Cropping history - acres have been in agricultural crop production for at least two of the last five years (complete, annual cropping seasons) prior to the date of application.

RIM Easement - Site Inspections

RIM easement site inspections are performed to ensure the landowner is fulfilling easement terms, provides an opportunity for the SWCD and the landowner to discuss progress of conservation practice installation and establishment.

Site inspections are required for the five consecutive years beginning the year after the easement is recorded. Thereafter, inspections will be performed every three years.

  • Example Timeline - 2014 Easement recorded (anytime during calendar year)

     First 5 Years                                           Begin 3 Year Rotation      

1st site inspection
no inspection
2nd site inspection
no inspection
3rd site inspection
inspection required
4th site inspection
no inspection
5th site inspection
no inspection

inspection required

When are Site Inspections Completed?

BWSR will annually notify SWCDs of which RIM easements are due for inspection each given year. For easements requiring site inspections, these will generally be completed during May through August by the SWCD.

For more information about CREP / RIM, please contact our office at (507) 375-1225.