CREP Buffers: More than Just Fish Habitat
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program or CREP, is a voluntary program which provides incentives to restore and improve salmon and steelhead habitat on private land. The most common practice in the CREP program is restoration of forested riparian buffers.
CREP has expanded recently to include hedgerows on smaller streams. While CREP buffers are planted for salmon and steelhead, they also support a variety of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. Here are some pictures of critters recently seen in the CREP buffers of Whatcom County.
Wasps and bees are beneficial in their activities, particularly as predators of pest insects and as pollinators.
An elusive bobcat in a red alder along the banks of the North Fork Nooksack. Bobcats are found throughout all of Washington and are more common than people think.
Deer are big fans of CREP trees, but we manage to get along. They are often referred to as “edge” species, meaning they thrive in places where open areas and forested areas meet.
The Pacific Tree Frog is the most common frog on the West Coast. They are the state frog of Washington and found in every county in the state.
The Wilson’s Snipe is a year round resident of Washington. The clutch size of the Wilson’s Snipe is almost always four eggs.
The Oregon Spotted Frog (egg mass seen here), a species only recently discovered in WA, was found for the first time in Whatcom County in a CREP buffer. The Oregon Spotted Frog is on the state endangered-species list and a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act and is only known or believed to occur in 4 WA counties.