Fifteen Care for Hedland volunteers spent a weekend last month on Yarrie Station taking environmental measurements with guidance from Rangelands NRM and Greening Australia staff.
Four adjoining stations in the DeGrey River catchment have recently formed the DeGrey Catchment Development Group to improve their environment and to develop new business opportunities based on regenerative land management.
Rangelands NRM Project Officer Tim Wiley said these new land based industries could involve Carbon Offsets, Environmental Offsets and using groundwater for irrigation.
“The DeGrey LCDC members are keen to explore options for using groundwater extracted via the mining process. Annabelle Coppin from Yarrie Station for example is setting up a trial to test out irrigating native trees and bush tucker plants,” Mr Wiley said.
This initial trip by the Care for Hedland volunteers was organised in order to collect baseline information on environmental health and carbon content of a site that will be cleared for a two hectare irrigated tree trial.
“This was the first time that carbon stores on the land had been measured in the east Pilbara,” Mr Wiley said.
The volunteers undertook a biodiversity survey where they collected information on the number and distribution of the different plant species present. They measured native plants and collected soil samples to be sent for analysis.
“This data will be used to determine the carbon stored in both the soil and the vegetation,” Mr Wiley said.
If pastoralists can improve their land then they could potentially make money by selling Carbon Offsets due to the increased carbon storage in the plants and soil.
The volunteers also did a Landscape Function Analysis with geo-morphologist Ostiane Massiani, to determine how well the natural water, soil and plants systems of the site were functioning.
Future trips will include things such as; fish surveys, river water quality monitoring, WONS (weed of national significance) removal, tree planting and various other tasks.
If you would like to be involved in future trips or find out more about any of the trips we have already done please feel free to contact Care for Hedland, Rangelands NRM or Greening Australia or contact Tim Wiley.