Recognition for local land carers

Two groups working on land-focussed projects in the SA Arid Lands region were acknowledged for their efforts recently at the South Australian Landcare Awards.

Nipapanha Aboriginal Community Corporation, which is responsible for the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area, was highly commended in the Indigenous Land Management Award, while Toyota Landcruiser Club of Australia (SA) Inc was highly commended in the Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Awards.

Also recognised at the awards was former SA Arid Lands NRM Board staff member Sarah Voumard, who was highly commended in the Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award category. Sarah is currently working for the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board.

Nantawarrina IPA

As the first Indigenous Protected Area declared in Australia, Nantawarrina has a long list of environmental achievements, including a listing on the United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement.

This latest award recognises the work of the group in protecting its natural and cultural heritage. It includes management of feral animals and weeds, Aboriginal and historic cultural heritage, soils, visitation and native flora and fauna species and communities including threatened species. It also recognised community consultation, use of traditional ecological knowledge, on-country learning and training and development opportunities for rangers.

Successful projects for the Nantawarrina IPA include a trap, tag and release program to monitor the health of populations of Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies which has run since 2011; the building of exclosures to protect important vegetation communities from feral herbivores; an annual monitoring program to record plant numbers and seedling recruitment; and the removal of feral goats. It has worked with the SAAL NRM Board on ground and aerial baiting for wild dogs, which has been completed in accordance with Best Practice Guidelines.

Toyota Landcruiser Club (SA) Inc

In its 45 years, the Toyota Landcruiser Club (SA) Inc has developed environmental standards for members to follow when touring and camping. It seeks opportunities for members to actively contribute to environmental projects including Clean Up Australia, tree planting and restoration of heritage buildings, assisting in monitoring programs, repair of fence lines, and eradication of pest plants in the SA Arid Lands NRM region.

When the SA Arid Lands NRM Board provided equipment and chemicals to control the spread of cactus, particularly Opuntia robusta (wheel cactus) and Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear), in 2008, the first contingent of club members spent a week on Gum Creek Station looking for cactus and injecting plants with Roundup.

In the past 11 years more than 11,000 volunteer hours have been provided, more than 15,000 wheel cactus removed and hundreds of square kilometres of land checked and rechecked for emerging plants. Members have encouraged other four wheel clubs to provide a similar service to neighbouring stations.