Conservation on Private Land
The MidCoast area is blessed with vast expanses of green space: National Parks and State Forests seemingly abound. One may be forgiven for thinking that we have abundant natural resources for the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources into the future. However, the majority of land in our LGA is under private ownership and about one-third of all land in our area is used for primary production (agriculture, timber, coal mines).
On a broader scale, NSW is large – with 81 million hectares of land within state borders – but only about 9% of the state is conserved under the National Reserve System (NRS). The NRS includes National Parks (seven million hectares), Indigenous Protected Areas (about 16000 Ha) and private protected areas with permanent conservation covenants (about 275000 Ha). New South Wales has a long history of private land conservation, with the first wildlife refuge proclaimed in 1951. The current legislated authority is the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT).
It is estimated that more than 70% of NSW’s biodiversity occurs on private land.
The BCT and Landcare NSW are currently partnering to deliver a state-wide Private Lands Conservation (PLC) program, which aims to not only strengthen the relationship between Landcare and the BCT, but to build conservation knowledge among local landholders. Our Private Land Conservation Officer supports local landholders with Conservation Agreements by conducting face-to-face site visits on their properties, providing technical advice on native vegetation condition, threats to biodiversity and how to manage those threats. The PLC program also delivers a range of interesting and relevant educational opportunities for landholders in our region.
For more information, contact Isabelle Strachan:
Land for Wildlife is an altruistic, entry-level program that does not go on the land title and is as such, a non-binding agreement. It is building a statewide network of people with an interest in conservation and offers support through a small grant program, access to web-based resources, and technical support. In our area, the Land for Wildlife program is delivered by qualified staff at Landcare and Council, who undertake initial property inspections and registration.
This project is part of the Partnering in Private Land Conservation. A joint initiative delivered by Landcare NSW and the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust, supported locally by MidCoast Council.