The Weekly Advertiser

Walk insight to Landcare mission

CHANGING LANDSCAPE: walkers trek along a stretch of Mt William Creek.

A leading Landcare officer has urged Wimmera people to increase their understanding of environmental issues after a ‘revealing’ six-day expedition along Mt William Creek in the Grampians.
Wimmera Catchment Management Authority regional Landcare manager Max Skeen said the walk before Easter clearly demonstrated the benefits of Landcare and risks involved in ignoring the landscape.
Mr Skeen, who joined about 60 walkers who trekked along various legs of the creek, a major tributary of the Wimmera River, said the event was eye-opening.
He said the walk provided a gritty hands-on Landcare experience and strengthened the resolve of all who took part to work to protect their environment.
“It’s easy to brush over Landcare issues, particularly those involving waterways, without fully understanding what has happened, is happening and what needs to happen,” he said.
“We all think we know our region. We drive over or pass by creeks and might see a puddle and make a passing comment about water in the creek. But issues are much more involved than that.
“The truth is, we don’t really know our landscape until we experience it first hand. Getting out and physically being there, observing it and absorbing history from locals takes understanding to a new level. From a Wimmera CMA perspective in how we support groups and networks involved in this crucial work, the experience has been invaluable.”
Mr Skeen added that farmers spoke about the benefits of fencing off creek frontage and establishing off-stream watering sites, activities Wimmera CMA strongly support.
“Some of their comments were that it was now easier to manage stock, that they had seen improvement in creek condition and quality of water for their stock to drink,” he said.
Project Platypus Landcare network and Landcare groups organised the community walk in partnership with Wimmera CMA’s Landcare Program. The walk involved a trek from the creek’s origins below Kalymna Falls in the Grampians to the Wimmera River downstream of Dadswells Bridge.
Mr Skeen said the walk revealed contrasting circumstances, what the creek meant to landowners, its place in agriculture, society and culture.
“In many locations the creek was in a relatively good condition. But there were others where roaming livestock had an obvious impact on the creek and surrounding areas. In some places there was evidence of erosion and a decline in water quality,” he said.
Wimmera CMA and Landcare groups are busy preparing for their next events.
Mr Skeen said anyone keen to get involved with Landcare could get in touch with him on 5382 1544.

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Posted on Apr 29 2009

Posted by on Apr 29 2009. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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