Sustainable Pastoralism

The Rangelands NRM Region is over 223 million hectares, and is 85 per cent of WA’s land mass. About 98 million ha (45 per cent) of total area is pastoral lease. There are a relatively small number of land managers and they include Indigenous, non-Indigenous, mining companies, large corporates and absentee landholders (station managers).

Key issues that limit large scale action to improve land management across the pastoral areas of the rangelands are scarce resources, few people, competition for labour from mining, low skills base, and huge areas of high quality natural resource assets, in condition states ranging from pristine/near pristine to seriously degraded.

This Rangelands-wide program of activities over five years is focused on sustainable pastoralism, which will also deliver biodiversity (and resilience) benefits. The pastoral industry in WA is based on native shrubs and grasslands and any improvement in rangeland condition has benefits to both production and biodiversity.

Rangelands NRM is committed to working with producers to improve practices which increase productivity, generate economic returns and sustain our natural resource base.

Western Australian rangelands pastoralists are encouraged to consider the range of opportunities for support offered by Rangelands NRM to improve practices that generate economic returns and sustain the natural resource base.

Pastoralists can get help with ESRM planning, on-ground works that are identified as priority actions in ESRM plans, and trials and demonstrations of innovative practices, including rangelands self-herding techniques. They can also access support to attend workshops and seminars, formal training courses and field days to build their skills, knowledge and leadership potential. 

Find out more - Sustainable Pastoralism [PDF]

Ecologically Sustainable Rangeland Management (ESRM) Plans

ESRM planning takes a whole-of-property approach and attempts to strike the right balance between maintaining the rangeland natural resource base and achieving the business goals of the land manager. Through the ESRM planning process, the land manager identifies land systems, notes their productive potential and degradation risks and prioritises them into action/response categories. Land systems with the greatest productive potential with the highest risks of on-going or future degradation are prioritised to ensure sustained productivity.

On-ground works projects 

Rangelands NRM provides incentives to help implement priority actions identified through the ESRM planning process to facilitate a ‘managing-to-land-systems’ approach. Co-investment projects may include works to address erosion through landscape function analyses; rangeland rehydration techniques to retain more rainfall on grazing country and development of grazing rotation infrastructure to spell areas under pressure.  

Trials and demonstrations of innovative practices 

Funding is available to take some of the risk out of conducting trials or demonstrations of innovative practices and share results with interested producers. Support from Rangelands NRM staff is available to help brainstorm new project ideas, pull together resources and to help monitor trial sites.  

Knowledge, Skills and Leadership Development 

Support is available to improve skills, knowledge and leadership potential of land managers. This may include assistance to attend workshops/seminars, formal training courses and field days. Opportunities also exist for individuals who wish to develop their leadership capacity and confidence. 

Community Awareness and Understanding 

Telling good news stories is critical to our future. Our aim is to provide information to the wider community about the ways the industry is looking after the land. Rangelands NRM will support producer groups to develop case studies, short video, fact sheets and information displays.

Rangelands Self Herding [Read More]

The Rangelands Self Herding project works with pastoralists to equip them with strategies based on their station’s unique landscape. It uses a suite of tools to influence herd behaviour which changes grazing distributions to suit pastoralists’ needs, signalled by such things as available feed budgets and landscape condition assessments.

Fire management 

Rangelands NRM is working with a variety of partners to implement innovative fire management projects such as increasing carbon soil sequestration, learning about how cattle respond to prescriptive fire management, as well as fire history data management systems.



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