Valley

Funds available to protect remnant vegetation

Tuesday 5 March, 2013
Protecting two natural wetlands on his Nathalia sheep grazing property will preserve its unique features for future generations to enjoy, says Geoff Carland.

Protecting two natural wetlands on his Nathalia sheep grazing property will preserve its unique features for future generations to enjoy, says Geoff Carland.

Mr Carland received funding to protect two significant wetlands on his property, a 39 hectare lignum swamp and a 16 hectare grassy wetland, through the Northern Plains Wetland and Remnant Vegetation Protection Project.

Funded through the Victorian Government and delivered by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), the project aims to build the capacity of landholders to deliver on-ground actions to protect, enhance and restore priority areas of remnant vegetation and wetland habitat across the catchment's northern plains.

"As well as fencing the wetlands to protect them for the future, it's been a useful exercise to work with Goulburn Broken CMA and Trust for Nature staff on how we can still occasionally graze the area, but in a managed and sustainable way so the natural values of the wetland are protected," Mr Carland said.

Goulburn Broken CMA project manager Jim Castles said less than two per cent of original native vegetation remained on private land in the Shepparton Irrigation Region.

"It's important therefore that we protect these areas that have not been cleared for agriculture or other purposes because of the diverse range of native plant and fauna species they support," Mr Castles said.

"This incentive program helps landholders, like Geoff, who have large natural wetlands or areas with a good cover of native large trees, shrubs, grasses and other plants on their property, protect these valuable areas."

Mr Castles said incentives were available for fencing and alternative watering points, including dams and troughs.

"Landholders need to register their interest ASAP, as we'd like to have the sites fenced and protected before June 2013," he said.

"The project uses a no obligation, free site visit and one-on-one extension process to identify suitable properties for five or 10- year conservation or management contracts."

He said higher incentive rates for fencing and alternative watering points would be offered to landholders who protected larger wetlands or areas of remnant native vegetation.

"Endangered vegetation types will also attract higher levels of funding and the natural condition of the area will also be taken into account," he said.

The full cost of standard stock proof fencing and providing alternative water sources will also be covered for wetlands and patches of high-quality remnant native vegetation greater than 10 hectares in size, and for sites where the landowner agrees to a Trust for Nature covenant.

For more information on the Northern Plains Wetland and Remnant Vegetation Protection Project please phone Jim Castles at Goulburn Broken CMA on 5820 1100 or email jimc@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Geoff Carland in front of the area he will fence off

Geoff Carland in front of the area he will fence off