Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Three projects to help Kimberley pastoralists improve land management

[July 2015]

Kimberley pastoralists are trialling sustainable land management techniques to protect their natural resource and improve management of key improved pasture.

Three projects in the Kimberley have received six months of support from Rangelands NRM, with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landare Programme to undertake trials of innovative practices to improve the condition of the land.

Rangelands NRM Program Manager (Kimberley) Grey Mackay said these projects will demonstrate sustainable management of the natural resources on three stations.

On Country Downs station, the use of a crocodile plough will be trialed as a diverse pasture improvement tool and management tool on Pindan Soils in the Kimberley.

The crocodile plough is a useful tool for rehabilitating native grasses and pastures and reducing woody thickening over sandy soils.

“It’s hoped this project will improve ground cover and reduce acacia thickening to determine the potential effectiveness of the use of this tool across other properties of similar soil type across the Kimberley,” Mr Mackay said.

On Dampier Downs, a recent Ecologically Sustainable Rangeland Management (ESRM) plan identified a seasonal wetland area known as the waterfalls area as a key priority for work as it is s being drained by an eroded historical track, which has breached the dune responsible for ponding the water in the wetland.

“This is a significant area for the cattle business, and fast water flows cause damage to soil structure,” Mr Mackay said.

œThe project aims to destock the area to allow time to restore the vegetation, as well as slowing water through retaining vegetation, installing an alternative water point, and implementing erosion mitigation actions to restore the area to its former productive status.

Another area of that has suffered due to water erosion is Lake Daley on Myroodah Station. The lake is a 250 hectare natural wetland that provides refuge for many waterbird species. However, during the ESRM process, it was found that the erosion of natural ponding sills between three wetlands had broken through creating larger erosion gullies.

œThe project will repair erosion at natural ponding sills and fence out the lake system to control livestock grazing. It also involves Nyikina Mangala Indigenous Rangers assisting with erosion control works, Mr Mackay said.

Rangelands NRM Project Manager (Kimberley) Mel McDonald will be on ground to manage the projects.

She said all three projects will assist land managers to manage the land sustainably.

œThe outcome from each project will be shared amongst other landholders through the West Kimberley LCDC, which will enable collaborative learning and sharing of best practice, she said.

Contact Mel McDonald for more information.

Image: Chris Daniels of Myroodah Station, Paul Mitchel of the Indigenous Land Corporation and Kimberley Watson and Dan Keynes of Nyikina Mangala Rangers discussing on ground works to halt erosion and protect Lake Daley on Myroodah Station. (Photo: M.McDonald)