Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Expert teaches rehydration techniques for Murchison-Gascoyne pastoralists

A landscape ecologist has been undertaking station visits to help build the skills of land managers in the Murchison-Gascoyne.

Dr Hugh Pringle has been visiting stations to spend time planning, setting out and advising on landscape function and rangelands rehydration techniques.

Ecosystem Management UnderstandingTM (EMUTM) and intervention techniques were discussed through one-on-one (or small groups) situations to identify priority areas for intervention works.

Rangelands NRM Regional Landcare Facilitator Kane Watson said promotion through the Rangelands Fibre and Producer Association, Yalgoo Innovation and leading Practises Group, Upper Gascoyne LCDC and Lyndon LYDC amongst others has seen fantastic utilisation of the service through these regions.

“The aim has been to provide specific advice and ‘tool’ matching skills for land managers to further their capacity to undertake on ground works,” Mr Watson said.

“Building upon the base knowledge sessions (workshops) conducted over the previous 12 months, we are assisting land managers that are ready to conduct works and require onsite guidance.”

By conducting this project in a tutorial format, it has brought relevance for land managers to their specific issues. The professional intervention is ensuring improved planning and implementation resulting in more sound economic investment.

Dr Pringle applies land manager priorities first and assists them to identify the correct ‘tools’ for specific situations.

“This very open dialogue and land manager control of the end product has proven to be empowering rather than prescriptive, offering complimentary outcomes to alternative ecosystem processes such as ESRM,” Mr Watson said.

EMUTM tutorials provide NRM benefits through catchment rehydration improvements, soil conservation, stock feed promotion, confidence and efficiencies in onground works.

“Land managers can take the next step in looking after their region with greater confidence,” Mr Watson said.

The visits were conducted in two parts given the high demand for Dr Pringles services. The initial round of tutorials to 10 stations was conducted in April with a second round of pastoral lease collaborations on five stations (plus two re-visits) completed in August.

“We thought that Hugh’s visit was very useful to us in that it opened our eyes to the very subtle indicators of erosion starting, rather than just the obvious larger features,” Wendy Harvey from Mininer Station said.

“He was able to give explicit instructions on the best methods to use in each situation that he looked at on our property. Hugh is very good at making us suggest solutions for a problem once he had explained the main methods of erosion control.”

Kurt Elezovich from Emu Creek said the tutorials were a great deal of value.

“We look forward to the opportunity to improve the overall landscape function and productivity using Hugh’s ideas.”

Angus Nichols from Edah Station said, “Hugh is making me read the landscape better and I’m picking up issues that I had never noticed before, I can now get into sorting them out.”

John Jones from Murrum Station said it was great to have this opportunity to build upon what had already been started.

“I’m excited to head out and see some of our earlier works, to see the filters working and growing.”

More Information
Dr Pringle is well respected in the pastoral community and the rehydration and soil conservation works he has planned/conducted/supervised is widely known and valued. The Rangelands Rehydration and Landscape Reading workshops as well as the earlier sieve structure workshop conducted by Dr Pringle in the southern rangelands was very well received, prompting popular demand for his services.

Image: Dr Hugh Pringle assessing a Mulga/Wandarrie wash plain erosion site on Edah Station, discussion intervention options and techniques with the managers of Edah, Murrum and Boogardie.