When the drought breaks Louise Turner, executive officer of Western Landcare NSW and a member of the Landcare NSW Council, hopes the work they are doing now will see the water slow down and stay longer on their property to improve long-term soil moisture and grow more native plants.
Louise Turner and her husband Zane run Goodwood Station, a 90,000 acre, 3rd generation owned and run sheep station near White Cliffs, in the far west of NSW. Louise has been involved with Landcare for the past 22 years and with Western Landcare NSW since its inception 12 years ago.
Their property is one of four properties near White Cliffs who are working together with funding provided by Western Local Land Services to participate in the Ecosystem Management Understanding (EMU) program.
The program provides a framework to understand landscape processes and how to strategically address natural resource management issues.
At Goodwood Station under the guidance of Hugh Pringle, works within the EMU program involve rehabilitation of a remnant wetland (1000 acres) by undertaking some major earthworks, addressing the bywashing of the floodplain and addressing the shortage of seed in the landscape by creating an onsite seed nursery. Landholders active in this project have also had the opportunity to undertake a Geomorphology workshop which teaches them how to read the landscape and thus understand the works they are currently undertaking.
Louise says they have now had a ‘taste’ for what a huge difference this type of land management will have long term and are continuing to expand this to other parts of their property to ensure the continuation of this project.
“We can see the work we are doing now will make a big difference going forward and this will mean we will be prepared for extreme weather events such as drought, in the future,” said Louise Turner.
Louise Turner recently spoke to Tim Dornin from AAP for a story in the Newcastle Herald about their ambitious plan to revive a once-thriving wetland (around 100 years ago) that was productive up until the past 40 years or so.
“We need to do things to this place so that if our kids want to be here we can enable that.
“We want to lead by example.”
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