Rangelands NRM’s Southern Rangelands team met with several landcare stakeholders over the past month to investigate priorities, partnerships and projects to advance sustainable land use in the region.
Rangelands NRM Regional Landcare Coordinator Kane Watson attended a field day at Eurardy Station east of Kalbarri in July, where he heard from Bush Heritage and a suit of leading Ecologists on the importance of rangelands restoration and fire management. He also visited Bush Heritage’s Hamlin Station to discuss priorities for potential collaboration in the Shark Bay region with Station Manager, Greg Suosaari.
Hamelin Station Reserve a research base providing insights that will help to protect the Shark Bay World Heritage area. Planned fauna and flora surveys on the Reserve will provide important baseline information required for conservation management planning.
“I wanted to find out more about the different initiatives at Hamlin and the community connections that are being made through their work,” Mr Watson said.
“We are always keen to connect people and projects that can leverage impact.”
Rangelands NRM also teamed up with Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) to host a grant writing course in Dongara in July to upskill people to develop successful applications that will attract more funding into the regions. More than a dozen enthusiastic participants from community organisations, farming and pastoral stations attended the course, facilitated by Bevan Bessen of Tunablue. The event was funded through the Australian Government National Landcare Programme.
“It was great to see participants from as far as the West Gascoyne involved, and I had the opportunity to speak with Secretary of the Lyndon Land Conservation District Committee. I’ll lend a hand with their cactus control funding application,” said Mr Watson.
Mr Watson also travelled to Wiluna to learn more about the Acacia weed control program on Cunyu Station with regional champions Ken Shaw and Dawn Martin.
“We discussed their landcare priorities and checked out the work they are doing. They are having some positive results so we discussed potential peer knowledge sharing opportunities that could come from showcasing their work,” he said.
Mr Watsons said that historical overgrazing and infestations of Acacia are common through the Rangelands.
“Control of this species and returning the landscape to diverse pasture assists land managers with sustainable pastoralism,” he said.
Meeting with representatives of the Yalgoo Best Practice Group (mixed livestock pastoralists) as part of the trip, Mr Watson said he was looking for opportunities and ideas from the group to reinvigorate landcare and sustainable land use.
Rangelands NRM Program Manager Kieran Massie travelled the Mid West and Gascoyne regions in July, also discussing opportunities for collaboration and coordination of initiatives across the regions.
Meeting with Bush Heritage Executive Manager Luke Bayley, Mr Massie said they considered ways to support or expand Indigenous land management work within the Gunduwa region and the Wooramel Catchment region.
“We discussed opportunities to build strategic partnerships with community and industry groups to support Indigenous land management initiatives and broader social, ecological and economic development across the southern rangelands,” he said.
Mr Massie met with Mid West Development Commission CEO, Gavin Treasure to discuss how Rangelands NRM could provide backbone support for community-led development across the southern rangelands, recognising the importance of connecting people and coordinating actions in order to drive landscape-scale change.
Other meetings included with representatives of the Shark Bay and Geraldton Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and the Department of Agriculture and Food with regards to developing stronger links between government, industry, community and Indigenous groups and to enable better support for the pastoral industry in the southern rangelands.
Mr Massie participated in the Gascoyne Development Commission-funded Gascoyne Aboriginal Ranger Program Development initiative at Gascoyne Junction on 15 July.
“The workshop provided an opportunity for people living in inland areas of the region to participate in the initiative. Participants were treated to an impromptu on-country visit to the Kennedy Ranges,” he said.
Mr Massie also attended a partners meeting for the-Supporting Indigenous Land Management in the Mid West’s initiative, convened by Program Development Coordinator at Central Desert Land and Community, Dr Hamish Morgan, and Director Bundiyarra Aboriginal Corporation Richard Nelly in Geraldton on 18 July. The meeting was attended by representatives from Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC); Bush Heritage; NACC; DPaW; as well as three Budimaya Traditional Owners from the Ninghan Indigenous Protected Area.
“There was strong buy-in for continuing to support Indigenous land management and to prioritise Indigenous objectives and aspirations in this work. There was a commitment to progress the development of Indigenous land management in Badimaya country, centred around Badimaya objectives and leadership,” he said.
All participants committed to participate in a future on-country meeting to progress the conversation with Badimaya people in order to inform possible program design.