A new field manual to assist outback land managers to better manage their roads has been released.
‘Outback Roads’ aims to assist in the reduction of environmental impacts of erosion and landscape dehydration.
It will also help land managers’ back pocket by reducing the money spent on road maintenance and wear and tear of vehicles.
‘Outback Roads’ is a collaborative partnership between South Australian Arid Lands, Cape York Natural Resource Management, Western Local Land Services, Territory Natural Resource Management and Rangelands Natural Resource Management.
Rangelands NRM’s Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Sarah Jeffery said the project was undertaken as there was a desire among land managers, soil conservationists and professionals for a resource that was accessible to everyone.
She said the outback covers an area of 6.23 million square kilometres, representing 81 per cent of Australia’s landmass with a vast network of roads transecting the area.
“Poorly sited, constructed and maintained roads can cause widespread and devastating impacts across the Australian landscape,” Sarah said.
“In the most extreme cases a road can completely dehydrate land on its downslope, with that water travelling along the road instead, turning into what is called a ‘river road’.”
‘Let it go, Let it flow!’— a favourite saying of Col Stanton is repeated throughout the manual and is very fitting.
It should be the key thought process when planning, constructing and maintaining roads—basically, you need to ensure there is minimise alteration of natural water flows.
The authors of ‘Outback Roads’ are Dr Hugh Pringle, Richard Grant, Paul Theakston, Darryl Hill and Colin Stanton.
They all have vast knowledge and experience and the passion to help land managers and the environment.
This project was jointly funded by SA Arid Lands, Rangelands NRM, Western LLS, Cape York NRM, Territory NRM and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator
Mobile: 0427 626 222