Nambucca Valley’s subtropical rainforests and threatened species including Koalas, Tiger Quolls and the Grey-headed Flying Fox are on the road to recovery thanks the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants funded Bushfire Recovery in the Nambucca Valley project.
Headlined by Nambucca Valley Landcare, the project focussed on habitat revegetation, strategic erosion control and riparian fencing across seven private properties in the severely burnt forested headwaters of the Nambucca River’s southern catchment. With the support of Nambucca Council and local landholders, Nambucca Landcare planted 3,200 native trees and sedges, installed 1,200m of fencing and partnered with local Indigenous groups Mujaay Ganma and Jaanymili Bawrrungga to grow First Nations engagement in local bushfire recovery.
“The Kian Road fire was a shocking and extremely distressing event for community. Nearly every hill and ridge south west of Bowraville see was fire scarred. To be able to restore this environment and support the community through landcare activities was a real privilege,” said Nambucca Valley Local Landcare Coordinator Logan Zingus.
“One of our biggest successes was regenerating areas of subtropical rainforest and endangered ecological community. Most of these species haven’t evolved with fire the way eucalypt forests have, and a fire of that intensity may have set it back 400 years. Combined with other forms of degradation- weed infestation, erosion and impacts of uncontrolled stock access, chances of natural regeneration were slim.”
“The environmental outcomes have been fantastic, but it’s not just about charging in, doing the job and walking away- it’s about long-term investment in the community at large. For us, that involved working closely with other community organisations and engaging local people to do the works, getting them back on their feet, empowered and employed to support their individual and community recovery,” said Mr Zingus.
Although Bushfire Recovery in the Nambucca Valley has had an incredible impact on community resilience and the health of the catchment, like many recent landcare projects, the work was heavily impacted by increased rainfall and severe flood events.
“We’ve been jumping from one natural disaster to the next. During the final six months of the project groundwork was very limited due to the flooding. For some of the sites, the access completely washed out twice so getting to the property was physically impossible,” continued Mr Zingus.
“While the floods created additional pressures, it was really important to make sure that the people affected by the bushfires remained focus for this recovery project. We were lucky that despite the challenges we had flexibility in delivery and significant community investment so we could eventually get out there and help,” said Mr Zingus.
Despite the setbacks community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and with further work planned for the future, Landcare NSW CEO Turlough Guerin says he couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
“The work of Nambucca Valley Landcare and their partners is a fantastic example of how investing in community projects can support substantive, long-term outcomes,” said Mr Guerin.
“A University of Melbourne study into the social impacts of post-disaster environmental work suggests landcare-led projects provide key benefits to fire affected communities by building resilience and stronger connections. This is really reflected in Nambucca Valley Landcare’s work which has proved crucial to the long-term recovery of the local community and environment.”
“The fantastic accomplishments of this project and the wider Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program have highlighted the value of local environmental protection projects in supporting the recovery of bushfire-affected communities and environments. The success of this landcare-led model shows our movement is well placed to be on the front lines when tackling future natural disasters,” said Mr Guerin.
About the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program
The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program is a $14 million program funding community-driven projects across bushfire affected areas of Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia. Together the 111 projects funded by the Program benefitted over 100 federal and state listed threatened species and ecological communities, including 16 mammal species, 16 bird species, 9 frog species, 34 plant species and 16 threatened vegetation communities.
Supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat, the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program is managed by a partnership between the National Landcare Network, Landcare Australia and the Peak Landcare State and Territory Landcare organisations.
For further information, visit the Program Website: https://landcareledbushfiregrants.org.au/
MEDIA CONTACT: Rosie Rayns, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0401 991 792
Further project information:
Nambucca Valley Landcare received over $49,800 to undertake revegetation, strategic erosion control and riparian fencing across seven private properties in the severely burnt forested headwaters of the Nambucca River’s southern catchment. With the support of Mujaay Ganma and Nambucca Valley Council they planted 3,200 trees and sedges, installed 1,200 metres of fencing and held 6 community engagement events.
The project has had ongoing impacts in the health of the catchment. Through wider, more diverse and protected riparian zones that have been planted with a range of riparian trees and excluded from grazing through fencing, the waterways can again provide habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Erosion has also been reduced and water quality enhanced, with a range of recreational and cultural benefits also apparent through improving the landscape.