It's been a busy yet productive couple of months in the north east pastoral district and I'm pleased to provide you all with an update.
After all the tireless efforts from staff and volunteers towards our weed management program here at Boolcoomatta I'm very pleased to be showcasing our work by hosting a district weeds workshop next Wednesday 20th May.
We'll have local pastoralists, government natural resource management (NRM) staff, and yours truly to talk about key management strategies and efforts for priority weed species as identified in the newly published North East Pastoral District Weed Strategy - species such as African boxthorn, pepper tree, nagoora burr, buffel grass and cactus. This is a fantastic opportunity for locals to gather, talk shop and work on a landscape scale towards positive conservation outcomes.
The North East Pastoral District NRM Group hosted a grader workshop recently at Kalkaroo Station to demonstrate to land managers the importance of applying soil conservation principles to any earthmoving activities.
With a particular focus on track construction, maintenance and repairing historical track-related erosion issues, this workshop was very relevant to land managers working with the fragile soils common in this district.
There was a fantastic turnout of local land managers and grader operators from various properties in the area, some of whom travelled over two hours to get there! Our NRM group is looking to host another later in the year with a focus on gully erosion and to build capacity in this important land management activity throughout the district.
Anzac Day weekend saw the return of the popular Yunta Races. It was great to see so many locals and visitors brave the cold conditions to support this event in its 124th year. The North East Pastoral District NRM Group had a stall at this event to showcase the work of the group and how important it is for all land managers to be involved and to have their say on what's important to them.
The group secured a grant to purchase a 500 litre weed spraying unit that will be housed and maintained at Boolcoomatta and be available for all community members to use. This is the second community weed spray unit and it's aimed at building community capacity to control priority weeds.
North East Pastoral NRM Meeting
Last Wednesday 13th May, Mt Victor Station hosted the 8th North East Pastoral District NRM Group meeting. It was a productive get together and a fantastic opportunity for group members to catch up in person. The group has representatives from Indigenous, pastoral, mining, government and non-government land management sectors and has managed to effectively raise the profile of NRM in the district.
Mt Victor and Plumbago Station are managed together as sheep stations on the western side of the Olary Ranges. Boolcoomatta is located on the eastern side of these ranges with Bimbowrie Conservation Park in the middle and together these four properties all work together and participate in the 'Bounceback' program, which is aimed at landscape-scale restoration activities with a focus on managing invasive species.
Iconic species like the yellow-footed rock wallaby have benefited from this project, which has been running for nearly 25 years. Prior to this project yellow-footed rock wallabies were close to being locally extinct in the Olary Ranges, nowadays there are over 1,800 individuals and Plumbago Station has the highest densities of these cute and furries anywhere in the world. You can see why I love my job!
Thanks for reading and I look forward to providing you with another update soon from this beautiful part of the Australian bush.