Living Flinders: Building community leadership in landscape management
Lying between northern arid and southern Mediterranean climates, the southern Flinders Ranges is recognised for its diverse biodiversity and spectacular landscapes, but also for its susceptibility to the effects of climate change.
In recent times, drought conditions have heavily impacted farmers with many destocking their properties to minimise economic losses and land degradation.
The proposed Living Flinders project, led by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, aims to help landowners improve the sustainability of their properties through best practice land management.
The project will provide the opportunity to participate in property plans and sticky beak tours, receive advice and mentoring support and join an on-ground works program to improve ground cover, enhance soil carbon stores and boost productivity.
Productivity and sustainability
With a landscape-scale focus that aims to deliver triple-bottom-line benefits, Living Flinders will help landholders apply sustainable land management practices on their own properties and in collaboration with neighbouring landowners. The project outcomes include:
- improving productivity by increasing native pasture cover and reducing the risk of soil and nutrient loss from hillslope and wind erosion
- improving the long-term sustainability of native pastures by enhancing the level of supporting ecosystem services, including landscape water processes.
Pasture cover improvements will be achieved by raising awareness of best practice rangeland management, improving livestock grazing management and building capacity within farm enterprises to implement and maintain new business models.
Property management plans
Living Flinders will deliver 16 tailored Property Management Plans to support landowners to:
- recognise and understand landscape processes, condition and trend
- capture water within the landscape
- understand the ecological and edaphic processes that underpin productivity
Facilitated by a specialist property planning facilitator, the process begins with a kitchen-table discussion about property goals, followed by a landscape mapping exercise that charts elements such as landscape formations and existing vegetation and soil condition.
Each plan will lead to actions, which could include earthworks to reduce erosion, capture moisture and improve vegetation cover, shelter belts, stock containment areas, fence re-alignment, water point relocation, and weed management. These activities will eventually form demonstration sites and sticky-beak tours to educate the broader community.
Additional courses and resources
To help drive change, the broader community will also have access to additional extension courses and resources, including:
- Grazing for Profit (rotational grazing, soil organic matter, carbon sequestration, forage diversity)
- Better Farm Business - By Your Design
- Lifetime Ewe Management
- Soil Health Assessment
- Case studies, fact sheets
The Living Flinders project is currently under review, with the proposed project detailed above.
Northern and Yorke Landcape Board
- Regional Land Partnerships – Australian Government National Landcare Program Phase Two