Valley

Local Wetlands Gain Vital Protection

Wednesday 6 August, 2008
Fencing works have been completed recently to protect vital wetlands in the Highlands and Strathbogie ranges.

Fencing works have been completed recently to protect vital wetlands in the Highlands and Strathbogie ranges.

These important wetlands were fenced in the Highlands and Strathbogie Ranges as part of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's (GBCMA) Drought Employment Program (DEP).

With the cooperation of local farmers and other land owners the peatland and spring soak wetlands were fenced at no cost to the owner to aid their protection and the unique native plants and animals they support.

GB CMA CEO Bill O'Kane says that little is still known about these unique wetlands at this stage all we know is that they need to be protected and land owners have been very obliging.

"The Authority is currently funding a project that will see scientists from the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research and Melbourne University investigate the floristic and hydrological values of peatland and spring soak wetlands in the Highlands and Strathbogie Ranges over the next 12 months.'

"The project will also evaluate their condition and risks to their persistence, the outcomes of the project will help inform future management and investigations," said Mr O'Kane.

Steven McAlpine a landowner in the Highlands said he wasn't interested in maintaining and preserving wetlands until the GBCMA told him he had one in his back yard.

"I had scientists and GBCMA staff testing the wetland on my property and it was then I realised how important it was to maintain and preserve the area.'

"If it wasn't for the DEP crews fencing my property I would not have fenced it which means cattle would have damaged the vital wetland," said Mr McAlpine.

Peatlands and spring soaks are distinct wetlands that support a number of threatened plant and animal species and perform hydrological functions.

These wetlands however, have a long history of disturbance and need to be protected.

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