March 2015
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Dear Reader

March has been a month of get-togethers for Rangelands staff and stakeholders with several training, knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities in weed management, marine debris reduction, landcare facilitation and communication.

Bringing all these themes together is the 2015 WA Landcare Awards, now open!

We are also preparing for next month's Australian Rangelands Society conference and look forward to hosting a group of pastoralists to attend.

 

Regards

Rangelands NRM Communications Team

Contents

Latest News
Landcare
Coastal Projects
Desert Rangelands
Biodiversity
Other News
Staff Profile
Events
Grants and Funding

  
 
Latest News

Proactive fire management vital for WA rangelands

Fire Forum February 2015

The need for proactive fire management in the WA rangelands was the main message reiterated at the second annual Rangelands Fire Forum last month. The forum was coordinated by Rangelands NRM and held at the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife (Kensington) on 25 February 2015.

Thirty-three representatives from a cross-section of the NRM community continued discussions to manage wildfires across the WA rangelands at a landscape scale and to share their knowledge and experience.

[Read more]

Attacking rubber vine infestation from the Internet

Rubbervine weed spotting

An innovative project in the Kimberley is using crowd sourcing to identify occurrences of the weed rubber vine in aerial photographs.

After four years of evolution, the current Aquila Project has been funded by State NRM Strategic grants program and supported by Rangelands NRM, to search and control rubber vine infestations that threaten to completely overrun the Fitzroy River in the West Kimberley.  

[Read more]

Landcare

Regional Landcare Facilitator builds sustainable land management capacity

ICPAWA Conference 2015

Regional Landcare Facilitator (RLF) Mary-Anne (Mez) Clunies-Ross is helping to coordinate a number of capacity building opportunities this month as part of Rangelands NRM’s RLF program.

Ms Clunies-Ross provides ongoing support for pastoralists and producers across the Western Australian (WA) Southern Rangelands to assist delivery of sustainable land management practices.  

[Read more]

State Regional Landcare Facilitator Forum a virtual success

On 19 February, seven of Western Australia’s Regional Landcare Facilitators (RLF) ‘virtually’ gathered via teleconference for their bi-annual state RLF forum to discuss the new National Landcare Program and changes that will broaden the scope of their roles. 

The group also discussed the new WA Landcare Network and potential for a WA Green Nomads program.

[Read more]

Coastal Projects

Marine pollution tackled in Pilbara workshops

Beach clean up Port HedlandTwo Pilbara workshops were held in March to tackle litter and debris at its sources, before it ends up on beaches and in the ocean.

Rangelands NRM, in partnership with Tangaroa Blue, invited community members and representatives from local business, industry and government to attend workshops in Port Hedland on 9 March and Karratha on 10 March, to learn how to develop Source Reduction Plans (SRPs) to reduce marine pollution.

[Read more]

Desert Rangelands

New connections to conserve Australia’s Deserts

The Ten Deserts Initiative launched its new website this month to promote its transboundary collaborations to protect the natural and cultural values of Australia’s diverse desert ecosystems.

Rangelands NRM Deserts and Pilbara Program Manager, Chris Curnow said that as a member of the Ten Deserts Initiative, Rangelands NRM is providing seed funding to develop its Terms of Reference and governance arrangements as well as to identify priority projects and establish initiatives.

[Read more]

Biodiversity

Kimberley weed priorities and strategies discussed at inaugural forum

Kimberley Weeds Forum Feb 2015

Land managers from across the Kimberley met last month in Broome for the inaugural Kimberley Regional Weed Forum.

More than 60 participants gathered on 27 February to discuss regional weed priorities and strategies, mapping of regional weed distributions, consideration of a Kimberley database, as well as sharing and awareness of resources and legislation.  

[Read more]

Other News

WA science communicators meet to network and inspire 

Communicate to Inspire Conference delegatesThe inaugural ‘Communicate to Inspire’ conference this March saw nearly 100 science communicators gather to network, share knowledge and improve their communication. 

Hosted by Scitech on 12 March, and funded through Inspiring Australia (IA), participants took part from across a wide range of government, private and not-for-profit organisations based in both metropolitan and regional areas of WA.

[Read more]

2015 State NRM Conference - Pre-conference Survey 

NRM WA are in the process of organising the 2015 State NRM Conference which will be held in Manduray 21 to 23 September.  A pre-conference survey has been designed to help guide how the conference is structured, its focus and key topics. The survey is aimed at all levels and facets of the NRM Sector so please feel free to pass the link on. The survey needs to be completed by Friday 27 March – just under two weeks. [Complete survey]

Staff Profile

Rangelands NRM welcomes Communications Specialist 

Jo WebbJoining the Rangelands NRM team this month is Communications Specialist, Jo Webb.

Ms Webb brings more than 15 years of communication experience, mainly in communicating environmental services and research.

[Read more]

Events

28 March 2015 - Farmer on Your Plate - 9-3pm Forest Place. Showcasing WA quality food and connecting consumers to the family farmers who produce the food on their plates. Throughout the day there will be family farmers giving tastings and selling their produce. [More info]

12–16 April 2015 - 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society, Alice Springs. 'Innovation in the Rangelands'[More info]

23 April 2015 - Gunduwa Annual General Meeting - 10am in Dalwallinu at the Community Centre Meeting Room at the Visitors Centre.

1–2 April 2015 - Rangelands NRM Pasture Identification Workshops (Kimberley) Rangelands NRM in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and Andrew Mitchell will present two, one-day Pasture Identification Workshops. Locations: Gogo Station 1 April and Roebuck Plains 2 April. Time: 9am–3pm. The workshops will cover how to identify native pasture species under cattle grazing (herbs, grasses and shrubs); how to take samples and photos for further identification; the relationship between different soil types and plant species; and identifying indicator species related to the rangeland condition. Cost is free and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is provided. To register, contact Mel McDonald or 0428 948 728.

4–9 May - Beef Australia 2015 will celebrate all facets of the Australian beef industry. It will facilitate new trade and export opportunities by exposing the local supply chain to the international industry leaders and will feature more than 4500 cattle from over 30 breeds. A trade fair will promote more than 500 businesses and a conference, seminars and property tours will deliver new research information to producers. [More info]  

1822 July 2016 - 10th International Rangeland Congress, Saskatoon, Canada. The First Call for Papers for the 2016 International Rangeland Congress in Saskatoon, SK Canada is now open. [More info]

Grants and Funding

Gunduwa - New round of funding

Gunduwa Regional Conservation Association would like to invite Community/Industry organisations who support our vision and demonstrate work towards key regional objectives to apply for the second round of small grants. Applicants must be within the Gunduwa Region. You can apply for up to $30,000 per project, and funding must be expended in 12 months. No individuals or government agencies need apply. Applications must be received by 31st March 2015. [More info]

2015 Western Australian Landcare Awards now open

2015 Landcare awardsThe Awards, which have now been running for 25 years, recognise the many achievements of Landcare across a number of areas, including sustainable farming and Indigenous land management.

Entries close 31 May.

[Read more]

 

Drought Concessional Loans Scheme - applications open

Farm businesses in Western Australia can now access the Australian Government’s Drought Concessional Loans Scheme. Drought Concessional Loans are available to assist farm businesses recover from and prepare for future droughts and return to viability in the longer term. Under the scheme, the Australian Government will provide Western Australia with $20million for the provision of Drought Concessional Loans in 201415. The scheme closes on 30 June 2015 or earlier if funds are fully committed. [More info]

This eNews is an initiative of the Rangelands NRM Coordinating Group which is supported by the Australian and WA State Governments.