My Sportsman's club has been enrolled in CREP for a long while. There are rules you must follow such as what to plant and you must keep after the weeds and tree seedlings that will grow up and maintain the ground that is enrolled. Your land will be inspected every once in a while to make sure you are in compliance with the rules. You may cut a percentage every year but you may not sell any of the grass and you must keep your borders cut to keep other trees and plants from encroaching into the CREP fields. We have never had a problem with the program or the people who we deal with who administrate the program. Lynn Appleman who is a member here has worked with Crep for a long time, you may want to pm him for specific info.
We have a 1.75 acres planted in a reparian buffer along a creek. (about 8 yrs ago) State was good to work with. They paid for the planting of trees, stakes, and 4' tree tubes , which are NOT tall enough if you have a lot of deer in the area, as they will nip the buds off the top. We didn't get much of a choice for what trees/shrubs they planted, but they did plant a good variety. Not allowed to mow till after August. Still get a $146 check yearly for the maintenance of the planting. Would definitely do it again.
I am 14 years into an initial 15 year sign up. Have 4.1 acres enrolled along a stream. 2.6 acres in trees and 1.5 acres in grassland. Need to have a 70% tree survival rate and keep noxious weeds under control. They furnished the trees, tubes, stakes and planted them. I chose one of their recommended contract planter who guarantee the survival for one year. He honored his commitment and replaced seedlings the following year that did not survived year one. I think there was about 30 out of the 560 that did not survive the 1st year.
In addition to them paying for the above. I got a nice initial sign up incentive and receive a yearly maintenance stipend each Oct.
I liked it that should my time be up on this earth, my wife can cancel the program without any penalties.
Only problems I had was the 2nd year, major flood stage removed about 60 tubes of which I found most about a 1/2 mile down stream washed up on a big log jam. Other problem was deer wrecking havoc with eating the white pines and bucks wanting to horn the surviving white pine and other trees once tubes were removed. Lost all of the white ash they planted to the emerald ash borer.
Have trees now up to 30 feet tall with biggest surprise some of the swamp white oak starting bearing yearly at 7 years of age, and now 90% of them are bearing yearly acorns.
Had program inspected 3 times and got good reports each time. Will probably extend the signup once my initial 15 year sign up ends.