Fog

Grants available to protect wetlands and woodlands on private properties

Tuesday 17 September, 2013
Grants for fencing and alternative watering points are available to landholders to protect wetlands and remnant vegetation on their properties through the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s (CMA’s) Nationally Significant Wetland and Woodland Ecosystem Conservation Project. 

Grants for fencing and alternative watering points are available to landholders to protect wetlands and remnant vegetation on their properties through the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s (CMA’s) Nationally Significant Wetland and Woodland Ecosystem Conservation Project. 

Goulburn Broken CMA Project Co-ordinator Jim Castles said the CMA had received funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Caring for our Country initiative to protect and improve threatened wetlands and woodlands on private property. 

Priority will be given to projects with the following types of vegetation on the property:

  • Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands: Typically fed by rainwater (not linked to rivers or streams) these wetlands look grassy when they are dry but as soon as they fill up with water, the water-dependent vegetation comes back to life. The plants that occur within these wetlands are commonly a mixture of grasses, sedges and herbs.
  • Box-gum grassy woodlands: Areas with widely spaced trees, dominated by White Box, Yellow Box or Blakely’s Red Gum. Grassy woodlands typically exist on the most productive soils and have been cleared for agriculture, which, in combination with high levels of grazing, fertiliser application and cultivation, means box gum grassy woodlands are critically endangered.
  • Grey Box and Buloke Grassy Woodlands: Open woodlands usually found on clay-loam soils in areas that are seasonally inundated but rarely flooded for long periods. While Grey Box and Buloke are the most common tree species, Buloke may only occur as individuals or dense stands. Understorey species usually consist of native grasses and herbs such as Lilies, Daisies and Saltbushes and shrubs such as Wattles, Sweet Bursaria and Cassinia.
  • Derived grasslands: These grasslands would have originally had a cover of the dominant Box Gum Grassy Woodland tree species. In some cases most or all of the trees have been removed, but the intact grassy areas remain and are still valued as habitat. 

“These wetlands and woodlands are usually found in the Agricultural Floodplains and Productive Plains in the north and central part of the Catchment, where healthy soils and water supplies are vital to support the agriculture industries that underpin our local economies,” Mr Castles said. 

“By providing incentives to landholders to fence off these areas and to install dams and troughs as alternative watering points for stock, we will not only provide habitat for important local flora and fauna, we are helping build the Catchment’s resilience to the effects of grazing, cropping, rising water tables, increased nutrient levels, weed invasion and climate change that are very real threats to productivity.”

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

Incentive rates are determined through a criteria matrix, with higher rates offered to landholders who protected larger wetlands or areas of remnant native vegetation or sites that were important habitat for threatened fauna and flora species.  

Funding is also available for revegetation to provide “linkages” between patches of remnant vegetation, or to provide “buffers” around wetlands. 

Interested landholders can contact Jim Castles on 5820 1100 for more information about the project, covenants or to organise a no obligation, free site visit.

Photo:  A wetland with floating pond weed, water ribbons and water milfoil