Conservation on Private Land
The Mid Coast 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 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, New South Wales is large– with 81million Hectares of land within State Borders – but only about 9% of that is conserved under the National Reserve System (NRS). The NRS includes National Parks (7 million Hectares), Indigenous Protected Areas (about 16000 Ha) and private protected areas with permanent conservation covenants (about 275000 Ha). NSW has a long history of private land conservation, with the first wildlife refuge proclaimed in 1951, and 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 Land for Wildlife are delivering private land conservation programs aimed at engaging people in the protection of native bushland on their own property. The main Private Land Conservation options for residents of the Mid Coast Area are:
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 also to build conservation knowledge amongst local landholders. Our Private Land Conservation Officer is supporting 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 is also delivering 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.