PRESENTATION TITLE: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program: a Tool For Rebuilding Louisiana Prairies
The goal of the Coastal Prairie CREP II is to enroll up to 15,050 acres into CRP through the establishment of native grasses. The focus area is in 7 south central Louisiana parishes that historically possessed the majority of tallgrass coastal prairie habitat in the state. The Nature Conservancy has contributed $750,000 to support landowners and their efforts to establish high diversity (6 species of grasses/ forbs) grassland habitat. The total investment by state, federal and NGO partners is $26.7 million and thus, while the Conservancy’s investment is signiﬁcant, it is leveraged at a ratio of 35:1. Such a public-private partnership is deemed as being the only structure available that may lead to large scale prairie revegetation in Louisiana. Since the program launched in March 2011, signup by landowners has been slow due to high crop prices.
However, project is to be carried out over the next 5 years and with better marketing of the program and the ebb and ﬂow of commodity prices, we maintain optimism that program goals will be met.