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Farm Dams, Wetlands and Frogs

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Money to build fences

We have funding available until July 2013 for fencing and habitat protection/creation, for all the different types of wetlands in the Strathbogie Ranges. Funding may also extend to off-stream water in some cases. However, as funds aren’t unlimited, we’re initially looking at sites of about 0.5 ha and above. A fencing subsidy of between $5/m and $7/m (depending on site size and quality) is available for eligible sites and establishment, or rehabilitation of native vegetation is also subsidized.

For more information contact either Janet, Bert or Jenny and get the ball rolling

Why build fences?  – The importance of wetlands

Farm dam with water plants

Farm dam with water plants

Springs, bogs, farm dams, wetlands, soaks … they’re all important parts of the local hydrological system, because they each influence the length of time water stays in our landscape and the quality of the water we send downstream. Importantly, these wetlands are now important habitat for many of the plants and animals living in our region.

Probably the most important management tool in our rural, pastoral landscape, is fencing. Fencing, fencing, fencing! Many previous projects and initiatives, by government and community, have encouraged land-managers to fence-out wetlands, to exclude them from the paddock, and there’s any amount of technical information available to show that such action results in better outcomes for animal health, stock productivity, biodiversity, water quality, erosion, sustainable agriculture and human well-being. (Links)

Farm dam wetland without stock

Farm dam wetland without stock

Recently, community and government focus has been on th0se natural wetlands, the spring-soaks and bogs, that are still in a largely natural and resilient condition and on private property. The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority in partnership with local communities has funded several wetland projects aimed at a better understanding and protection of these important habitats, from a biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and community perspective. You can read more about some of these projects on Strathbogie Ranges Nature View

Its estimated that there are more than 10,000 small to medium-size farm dams in the Strathbogies, perhaps even as much as 20,000! While some see this as a serious catchment management issue (and it is), this number of dams in a landscape that may well be drying out in the coming decades, is also a serious asset. And its not just frogs; wetlands are ecological hot-spots, particularly when the landscape dries out over summer and during drought. [more]