The Highlands Landcare Foundation supports the activity of eighteen Landcare Groups north and south of the Great Dividing Range to the west of Ballarat.
The groups are active in the:
- Baillie, Black, Burrumbeet, Upper Fiery, Upper Mount Emu and Trawalla creek catchments (Glenelg Hopkins CMA); and
- Bet Bet, Burnbank, Creswick, Doctors, McCallums, Middle, Mountain and Tullaroop creek catchments as well as the upper Avoca River (North Central CMA).
The role of Landcare is to assist private landholders in sustainable agricultural enterprises and the enhancement of ecological values on their properties. Landcare also assists Government(s) with their land management activities by providing advice as to priorities for asset protection and enhancement.
Landcare assists landholders in three ways, with advice and information for good decision making, with resources to assist the undertaking of specific activities, particularly where a “public good” is also achieved and by networking people to learn from one another.
Productive agricultural enterprises operating within stable and self-sustaining ecological system(s).
The measures of ecological system health are threefold, being:
- The permanence (stability) of the vegetation system,
- The diversity of habitats and species within the system(s), and
- The level of inputs required to maintain the system.
Goals in detail
|Landscape type||Native vegetation||Forest vegetation||Perennial Pasture||Arable uses|
|Agriculture (volcanic/riverine)||5 – 10%||5 – 20%||20 – 80%||10 – 70%|
|Agriculture (sedimentary/granite)||10 – 25%||0 – 80%||20 – 80%||0 – 20%|
|Lifestyle (depends on land size)||15 – 60%||10 – 40%||20 – 60%||0 – 20%|
|Roads and waterway reserves||50 – 80%||0 – 30%||nil||nil|
|State Forests / Parks||90 – 100%||nil||nil||nil|
Note: Native Vegetation. Locally indigenous mixed species, including grasslands.
Forest Vegetation. Limited species mix planted for commercial use.
Perennial Pasture. Exotic permanent pasture more than five years old.
Arable uses. Cropping on an annual or semi annual basis.
Priorities for Action
The following are our priorities for action in the landscape, to:
- Improve the capacity of landholder(s) to manage ecological systems,
- Protect and enhance significant areas of high landscape integrity (existing native vegetation greater than 100 ha),
- Link these areas to regional catchment assets (CMA Regional Catchment Strategies),
- Link between high landscape integrity areas (including CMA assets),
- Provide multiple habitats where practical (terrestrial and aquatic),
- Create diversity locally (at the property / sub catchment level),
- Minimize landscape threats (weeds, pests, salinity, erosion), and
- Maximise landscape stability (permanent vegetation).