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Local Land Services here to help with Monaro grasslands challenges

David Eddy from Local Land Services and Howard Charles from Coolringdon discuss native vegetation management options

Monaro landholders who may be unsure about their land management options under state and federal regulations are being urged to attend a forum organised by Local Land Services.

The forum on June 13 in Cooma will provide expert advice on native grassland and groundcover management and outline Monaro-specific solutions for the region.

“The Monaro has some unique challenges, but we’re here to help landholders get on with the business of farming,” David Eddy, Senior Land Services Officer said. Based in Cooma, Mr Eddy works with landholders considering their options under the New South Wales Land Management Framework and can also provide advice on Commonwealth regulations.

The Land Management Framework balances sustainable agricultural productivity with the conservation of high value natural assets.

“When landholders talk to Local Land Services about their goals, show us around their farms and share knowledge, together we are finding solutions that are a win-win for farming and the environment,” Mr Eddy said.

“Some of the biggest challenges on the Monaro are about native groundcover, including grasses, and how it is treated under the Framework.

Native groundcover is classified as High, Moderate or Low Conservation Value, depending on how modified it is from its original natural state.

The state of the native groundcover determines whether a landholder can self-assess it to be cleared, or whether an approval from Local Land Services is needed, but Mr Eddy said there are complexities on the ground.

“Native groundcover on the Monaro varies widely in condition, largely as a result of the way it has been grazed, fertilised or cleared since European settlement,” Mr Eddy said.

“Landholders may be unaware of these regulations or how to assess the condition of native groundcover to inform decision making,” he said.

“We’re happy to help, to provide assistance on how to self-assess a paddock or we can visit the property to assess the groundcover and provide the clarification landholders need.”

Management of the historic Cooma district property, Coolringdon, needed the right advice on native groundcover when it looked to develop additional paddocks of improved pasture.

“Local Land Services and its Sustainable Land Management officer, David Eddy, played a very significant part in us developing the property as we wanted to,” Howard Charles, trustee of Coolringdon said.

“David has a really good appreciation of the Monaro and we worked with him to make sure we were operating within the guidelines,” Mr Charles said.

Landholders can find out more about their native groundcover options at the Cooma Quarterly Forum on Thursday, 13 June at the Alpine Hotel from 10-12pm.

There will also be information about support for African Lovegrass management and Monaro specific solutions under the Land Management Framework.

David Eddy and other Local Land Services experts will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. RSVP to Luc Farago at luc.farago@lls.nsw.gov.au or 0428 440 630.

ENDS

Media enquiries: Melanie Pearce 0409 725 370