A landmark conservation covenant with NSW Government’s Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) will provide additional permanent protections to our Naree Station Reserve – and neighbouring Yantabulla Station (owned by South Endeavour Trust).
The Hon. James Griffin, Minister for Environment and Heritage NSW, recently visited Naree, on Budjiti Country in northwest NSW, and committed to supporting the rich biodiversity in this region. He awarded Bush Heritage and South Endeavour Trust ongoing stewardship payments to continue to protect their combined 31,200 hectares in perpetuity.
“A 31,200 hectare win for biodiversity in north-west NSW. Naree Station and Yantabulla Station make up a massive swathe of land,” said Griffin.
“At least 60% of Australia’s land is privately owned or managed, and many important ecosystems are found on private land, which is why conservation agreements like these are so important.”
According to our Healthy Landscapes Manager for NSW, Brenda Duffy, “This commitment signifies the importance of private conservation in Australia and recognises the long-term vision of Bush Heritage to Protect Healthy Country Forever.
“It's an amazingly unique and rich country, and such recognition through this agreement is a testament to everyone who has worked to protect it – especially the supporters who helped us purchase it in 2012. This shows what can be achieved in conservation if we work together.”
With the help of supporters, Bush heritage purchased Naree in 2012, while South Endeavour Trust bought Yantabulla in 2015. Both properties have been significantly grazed in the past but are now managed by Bush Heritage.
Yantabulla Swamp is a wetland of national significance with 42 waterbird species recorded, and over 7,500 hectares of the Coolibah-Black Box Woodland threatened ecological community as well as significant cultural artefacts and sites. Naree is a unique, boom and bust landscape, with the capacity for long, dry spells, interspersed with heavy rainfall events that transform the landscape.
Recently, rainfall brought a burst of life to the reserve, as birdsong took over the wetlands and pink cockatoos and budgies seemed to appear out of nowhere. Emus, Short-beaked Echidnas, Red Kangaroos, and a variety of frogs and reptiles also inhabit the area.
Budjiti Elder, Phil Eulo, also attended the celebration.
“It’s hard to put into words what it means for me and my people to be looking after the country where my ancestors were and it’s so great to be doing it alongside Bush Heritage.
“We really appreciated having the Minister coming out too. He got to see the country that we are all protecting for our families and children to enjoy,” he said.
Greg Carroll, Naree’s Reserve Manager, agrees this is a great result.
"This investment will allow us the opportunity to undertake control of feral species such as wild pigs and goats in a more efficient manner. It will contribute to things like labour resources, fencing and trapping yards. This will all help to ease pressure on the natural environment here and allow the landscape to recover.”
Brenda Duffy says permanent protection for Naree and Yantabulla is both a tangible outcome for the uniquely biodiverse region, but also a symbolic step towards recognising private conservation on a governmental level.
“It shows the importance of conservation to the broader community and what’s possible when we work with others, look beyond the fence and combine private and public support. These in-perpetuity payments recognise the importance of protecting these landscapes forever, as well as the legacy of our donor support to future generations,” she said.