Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Erosion control skills shared across southern rangelands

A workshop to help improve knowledge and skills in erosion control was run for professionals and TAFE students in Geraldton.

Held in August 2017 at the Geraldton Batavia Coast Marine Institute, the demonstration session was run by rehydration expert Dr Hugh Pringle and was supported by Rangelands NRM through funding from the National Landcare Programme.

Rangelands NRM Regional Landcare Facilitator Kane Watson said participation aimed to improve knowledge and skills for addressing erosion control and the application of simple rehydration techniques.

“Land managers and students were equipped with the practical skills and ‘tools’ specific to rangelands rehydration through Ecosystem Management UnderstandingTM (EMUTM).

“EMUTM principles, practices and outcomes presented by Hugh demonstrated the broad landscape benefits or landscape literacy,” Mr Watson said.

“On ground application provides catchment rehydration improvements, soil conservation, stock feed promotion, confidence and efficiencies in remediation works.”

Mr Watson said following the workshop, land managers can take the next step in looking after their region with greater confidence.

He added the project provided the opportunity for greater collaboration and knowledge sharing across the rangelands regional groups and engaged land managers such as Bush Heritage, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council (NACC).

Elisabeth McLellan, Healthy Landscapes Manager-Western Rangelands at Bush Heritage said it was fantastic to spend time with the Rangelands Rehydration guru, Hugh Pringle, thanks to Rangelands NRM.

“Hugh’s approach of participatory management, of listening to land managers, of reading the landscape and its geomorphology to inform management actions, has been an inspiration to me for decades,” she said.

“So, it was marvellous to finally meet Hugh in person and discuss ideas for potential future collaboration.”

Jamie Conway-Physick, Senior Operations Officer – Rangelands from DBCA said Hugh applied his wealth of practical knowledge and experience attained from projects that he has been involved in locally within the Murchison Rangelands and other projects across Australia and further abroad in Namibia.

“Hugh highlighted how various land management practices (e.g. overgrazing, poorly placed infrastructure such as water points and fences and even vehicle tracks) can result in land degradation by altering hydrological processes resulting in loss of topsoil and concentration of water flow and velocity through the landscape depriving the broader landscape of water,” Jamie said.

Dr Indre Kirsten Asmussen, Lecturer for Conservation and Land Management, Central Regional TAFE said the presentation by Hugh Pringle has left a flurry of excitement in the BCMI building of Central Regional TAFE ranging from students to staff.

“Landscape literacy…. pulling the plug out of systems”, its rehydrating outcomes and its relevance and application beyond the rangelands for biodiversity conservation and NRM. I just want to run away with the circus… and to be there with bells on – to learn more…..,” she said.

Jessica Stingemore, Biodiversity Coordinator at NACC said it was fantastic to meet rangelands restoration expert Hugh Pringle and hear first-hand how he is working towards the healthy recovery of landscapes and habitats in that area.

“More than 25 per cent of the NACC NRM region actually lies in the rangelands and we are continually growing our partnerships with Rangelands NRM and other land managers and stakeholders across the outback,” Jessica said.

Mr Watson said this project provides benefits to a wider range of land managers in the southern rangelands.

“Providing this opportunity has enabled the pastoral land managers, DBCA, NGO and NRM sectors in the Southern Rangelands to widely value landscape literacy and rangelands remediation,” Mr Watson said.

“It has opened up opportunities for wider collaboration and catchment scale communication amongst land managers.”

Image: Dr Hugh Pringle presenting at the BCMI in Geraldton (©Kane Watson).