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Grant funding enabling land managers to make a difference

For more than a decade landholders managing riparian zones in the Snowy River and Murrumbidgee River catchments have been actively engaged in rehabilitating and enhancing the long term biodiversity and environmental values of their river front areas.

Two such local land managers, Elena Guarracino and Richard Valler of “Wildcroft”, Ironmungy, are seeing the results of their hard work and the benefits of a healthy ecosystem.

Elena and Richard have been working with South East Local Land Services since 2006 on a range of projects to address weed incursions, loss of habitat and erodible areas with the goal of improving the biodiversity, productivity and ‘aesthetics’ of their property.

On the back of the catchment-scale rehabilitation efforts to remove problem weeds, like willows, they wanted to improve the environmental sustainability of their property.

“We want to protect the Snowy River banks and plant more native trees and shrubs to replace the willows that had dominated the ecosystem along the Snowy River since the Jindabyne Dam was constructed in 1967.” Elena said.

“We’ve also created new areas of native bushland which is providing a habitat for a variety of native birds, including endangered ones like the Scarlet Robin and Hooded Robin.

“But also a range of native animals, improving water quality and halting and restoring erosion damage, and generally improving the look and feel of the property”.

In collaboration with South East Local Land Services, Elena and Richard have established riparian fencing, planted a diverse range of native plants and addressed small scale erosion gullies to improve water quality.

Deputy Premier, and Member for Monaro, John Barilaro praised the work of Elena and Richard, acknowledging their dedication to sustainability.

“It’s great to have such dedicated partnerships working to protect and grow this beautiful part of the state” he said.

Financial assistance, of up to $10,000 provided by Catchment Action NSW, can be provided for the cost of fencing materials, native plants and alternative water sources to protect riparian areas and tributary areas with minor erosion. Land managers are encouraged to get in touch to see if they are eligible to receive funding.

“This is a great opportunity for land managers to assist them in managing these sensitive areas” said Leon Miners, South East Local Land Services Senior Natural Resource Management Advisor for the Monaro area.

“There is a clear desire from land managers to improve the environmental value of their property in the broader landscape whilst considering the added benefits such actions can have on productivity and sustainability.

“The grants we have on offer are a great way to demonstrate that these two aims can be achieved in unison.”

For Elena and Richard putting more native trees and shrubs back into the landscape has improved their enterprise and the environment.

“It has been an excellent partnership. Staff at SE LLS have been great to work with and have made the process simple and manageable” Richard said.

“We are enjoying the improvements to the landscape at our property and are more than happy with the results”.

To find out more about the 2018/2019 round of Riparian Rehabilitation grants, visit southeast.lls.nsw.gov.au or contact the Cooma Local Land Services office.

ENDS

Media contact: Dave Michael, South East Local Land Services, 0418 513 880