Farmers help protect 2500 hectares of native vegetation near Kerang
18 July, 2012
An area near Kerang over 13 times the size of Melbourne’s CBD will be given added environmental protection with local landholders sharing in funding to protect native vegetation.
Local landholders in the Avoca Plains region in the north west of Victoria have shared in $1.5 million through the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s (DSE) BushTender program to improve native vegetation on their properties by fencing, replanting and weed and pest control.
DSE’s Manager of Native Vegetation Programs Anne Buchan said: “The area we focussed on for this round of BushTender was across the lower reaches of the Avoca and Loddon Rivers which had previously been flood affected. BushTender provided a much needed opportunity for landholders to further rehabilitate the area.
“BushTender is an auction-based approach to protecting native vegetation whereby landholders submit an expression of interest which is then assessed on the best biodiversity value for money,” Ms Buchan said.
“A site officer visits the property with the landholder to assess native vegetation and management options. Landholders then submit their bid, and management contracts are awarded based on conservation value, proposed management actions and dollar cost.
“The program also gives landholders a great opportunity to generate an alternative income while better protecting and managing their land in a way that best suits their circumstances.”
“BushTender is just one of a number of programs DSE has underway to work with landholders and farmers to help native vegetation populations,” Ms Buchan said.
“Working with landholders to protect and enhance native vegetation is important for habitat, water quality and salinity control. Healthy native vegetation equates to healthy and productive farms and has flow-on benefits for neighbouring farms and public land like forests and national parks which are an important community asset.
“And by acting at a local and regional level we are creating a healthy environment for social and economic wellbeing.”
BushTender has been running since 2001 resulting in over 33,000 hectares of native vegetation being protected with the help of 460 different landholders.
For more information visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/bushtender.