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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

10 February 2015


In this issue

Message from Landscapes & Sustainablity Manager, Craig Nixon
Complete our Regional Engagement survey and be in the mix for a Multi Parks Pass
Farmers and community groups rewarded in 25th anniversary grants
Southern Flinders Outdoor Expo & Lifestyle Show
Around the Districts - Southern Flinders & Upper North
Stranded dolphin and calf rescued at Levens Beach
Caretakers re-focus on collection at Martindale Hall
New bite-size grants available for small environmental projects
The BEST AGM in town
New weeds declared in South Australia
Upper North Farming Systems Precision Agricultural Day
Revegetation funding for Southern YP landholders
Nature Play SA - Getting our kids outdoors
Have your say on wild dog plan
Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group
Yorke Peninsula farmers watch out for threatened goanna
SOIL SMART - Understanding your soils
Hart Field Site Group dates for 2015
Vegetation Monitoring Workshops
Creating and Understanding Change - communicating with farmers
Wecome to the February 2015 issue of Yakka E-Newsletter

Yakka brings you news and stories from across the Northern & Yorke region.

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Complete our Regional Engagement Survey and be in the draw for a Multi Parks Pass.






Message from Landscapes & Sustainablity Manager, Craig Nixon

As we step into a new year I would like to share a few thoughts with YAKKA readers.

We are no longer an agency whose key focus is national parks and other protected areas. Today, our business is natural resource management on public AND private land in partnership with our regional community.

With fewer resources we can’t do everything we used to do. As a a much leaner agency today we have to position others take the lead with our support.

As someone who started out as a base grade ranger a very long time ago, I appreciate it can be difficult for some of us to let go of how things used to be done, to take our hands off the spanners.

But the days are gone when we went out and did it alone, when we saw ourselves as the experts with all the answers.

The recent dolphin and calf stranding in the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park on Lower Yorke Peninsula is a great example of how we need to work today. In the past we would have pushed the community back and taken control of every step in the rescue. But at Levens Beach, while NRNY were present and provided advice, it was the community who successfully returned the dolphins to deeper water.

Our role is becoming that of the enabler and facilitator. We don’t expect the community to take over delivery without support. But key members of our community are much better placed to do this than we have ever been. It is about recognising skills and providing the support.

Tourism is a big economic driver in South Australia. We are responsible for, or manage, many of the key assets in our parks, but do not have the resources to develop and deliver a full range of services. This can only happen by partnering with other agencies and the private sector.

NRNY is currently negotiating a lease arrangement for the provision of visitor services at Innes National Park. This is a really exciting new project with opportunities to provide a much greater product range than we could ever consider on our own.

Another shift is how we look at the landscape. We need to target our resources to get the best outcomes. This is best done by taking a ‘helicopter-view’ of the landscape, rather than delivering lots of quick fixes for small localised problems.

A first for Australia, NRNY implemented the Community Action Planning (CAP) framework for natural resource management in Northern and Yorke region. CAP is a framework used in many other parts of the world to develop, implement and measure the effectiveness of natural resource management at a large or landscape scale.

Through NRNY’s CAPs, primary producers, business, industry, councils, NGO’s and community groups are now involved in setting regional priorities for the conservation and management of soil, water and biodiversity assets in our region.
In NRNY we look forward to deepening our collaboration with communities in each of the three districts that make up our region.

Happy New Year to all.

Image: Craig Nixon with Personal Assistant Holly Cowland

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Complete our Regional Engagement survey and be in the mix for a Multi Parks Pass

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) has launched a regional engagement survey to find out what motivates people to get involved in natural resource management in the region.

Two respondents who complete the online survey will win Multi Parks Passes in a draw at the end of February.

“Knowing more about what our farmers, volunteers, small business owners, industry and other community sectors are interested in helps us plan, prioritise and target our activities and projects”, said Craig Nixon, manager Landscapes and Sustainability Natural Resources Northern and Yorke.

Soil, water, and biodiversity assets provide the foundation for the state’s prosperity and are all fundamental to the health and well-being of South Australians.

A decade ago, natural resources on public and private lands were managed by different lead agencies. “But soils, water, plants and animals don’t arrange themselves according to property boundaries or particular land uses”, Mr Nixon said.

“We now work with the community at a landscape scale, and are no longer an agency whose key focus is national parks and other protected areas.”

Local people who understand the region’s needs, serve on the Northern and Yorke Natural Resource Management (NYNRM) Board.

The Board works with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) to ensure that natural resources on public and private lands, are managed sustainably in ways that benefits landholders and the broader community.

Natural resource management is funded through the NRM levy, DEWNR and State and Australian Government grants.

“We are hoping that the survey, which should only take ten minutes to complete, will provide us with a better understanding about how our regional community wants to work with us.”

The online survey will close on Sunday February 22.

To access the survey go to our website.

For more information phone the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 88413400.

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Farmers and community groups rewarded in 25th anniversary grants

Ten farming and community groups from Northern and Yorke region will share $176,908 in funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

They will receive grants from $11,000 to $22,000 to deliver a range of projects that will build knowledge and capacity to better utilise and protect the region’s natural resources.

“This is a very impressive result for our region,” NRNY Regional Manager Trevor Naismith said. “Our farming  and community groups are to be congratulated, having picked up more than 25 per cent of South Australia’s projects to be funded through the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants 2014-15.”

Several groups will run field days, workshops and site demonstrations to share information and encourage the broader farming community to adopt practices that will improve their viability and the condition of natural assets.

“Whether they are promoting healthy and sustainable farming family businesses, restoring springs, conserving native pastures or protecting cultural assets, each of these projects shows just what communities can do to contribute to natural resource management in our region,” Mr Naismith said.

For an overview of all successful projects visit www.nrm.gov.au/news.

To read the full story visit our website.

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Southern Flinders Outdoor Expo & Lifestyle Show

The Port Pirie Regional Council will be hosting the 2015 Southern Flinders Outdoor Expo and Lifestyle Show, on the 28th of March.

The event will be held at Memorial Oval Port Pirie, where businesses and organisations servicing the outdoors and recreation in the fields of boating, fishing, water sports, caravan and camping, 4x4 driving, and other outdoor and tourism activities, will have the opportunity to set up displays and exhibitions.

A range of community focused entertainment and interactive activities will also feature at the show, in what is expected to attract thousands from surrounding areas, including the Copper Coast, Mid North, Clare Valley, Spencer Gulf, and Upper North.

The event aims to benefit the local economy, while showcasing tourism and the recreational opportunities available in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

Activities such as demonstrations, product and technology reviews, interactive displays, food and wine tastings, Kooky Kidz markets, Ute Muster, and much more will be included in the event, to attract and entertain visitors from around the region.

The expo will be widely advertised across all forms of media, including television, radio, local newspapers, social media, and across websites.

There are a number of sponsorship and exhibition packages available for interested businesses.

For all enquiries and applications contact Rhys Millington, Port Pirie Tourism & Arts Centre, on 86338727, mobile: 0429999384 or Email: specevents@pirie.sa.gov.au

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Around the Districts - Southern Flinders & Upper North

Danny Doyle - District Manager

Manager of the region’s most diverse district, Danny Doyle looks after country from the top of the gulf, through the ranges to Hawker, and across the eastern plains to Peterborough.

“We’ve got the region’s range country and most of its pastoral lands,” Danny told Yakka.

“Land use and associated management issues are quite different in Southern Flinders and Upper North district, compared with the other two districts in our region.”

Never far from Danny’s mind is fire. 2014 began with the Bangor fire, a massive event which will shape how the district is managed over the coming years.

“The Bangor fire showed us that our prescribed burning work was worthwhile. It reinforced the direction we had been travelling with our fire management in the area.”

“It also galvanised communities in the Southern Flinders Ranges. The scale and duration of the fire meant that virtually no-one in the district was unaffected.  The shared experience connected people in new ways.”

One of the few positives from a fire of this scale has been the opportunity to review how land is used.

“Events like this allow people to take a really hard look at how things work best. When they replace fences and tracks, they may put them in different places.” 

For many years, Southern Flinders & Upper North district staff had responsibility for the operational management of fire across the Northern and Yorke region. This meant that fire management always took precedence over other activities.

“The move to fire management at a regional level and away from the district has given our district staff more time to focus on other areas of the business.“

With fewer resources and smaller teams, NRNY has had to become much smarter.

“We work much more closely with the community now. We’re not so reactive, looking for the quick fixes to every small problem. When an issue arises we now ask ‘Is it also an issue for others and at what scale?’”

“We’re managing a lot differently to how we did a decade ago.”

“We need to be brave enough to transfer the ownership of NRM issues to the community. To do that we have to step down from our pedestal as the major player and let go of some of the power and control. This is happening through the Conservation Action Plans (CAPs).”

Danny describes his small team of five as “a highly skilled and resourceful team.”

“Since the integration with the NRM Boards, role clarity has been a bit confused. But 2014 was a crossroads. We have a much clearer idea now of where we should be focusing our time and resources.”

“Our main job is building and maintaining a strong relationship with the community and having a positive influence on how natural resources are managed sustainably."

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Stranded dolphin and calf rescued at Levens Beach

A stranded adult dolphin and calf were successfully returned to deeper water near Levens Beach in the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park on Lower Yorke Peninsula in mid-January.

Natural Resouces Northern and Yorke ranger-in-charge Innes National Park, Mark Davison says the successful operation was thanks to the quick thinking of a member of the public who alerted SA Police (SAPOL) to the live, stranded dolphins.

“SAPOL then alerted me and I was able to contact the person who reported the stranding and talk them through the correct procedure until one of our off-duty staff members, Cath Cameron, was able to get there," Mr Davison says.

“We were fortunate that the dolphins were found relatively early and that we were able to give them the appropriate care to get them back out into the water,” he says.

Anyone who finds a stranded dolphin or whale on Lower Yorke Peninsula should immediately contact the Natural Resources Centre Northern & Yorke on 8841 3400 or Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary on 0427 556 676.

To read the full story visit our website.

Image provided by Tara Baum.

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Caretakers re-focus on collection at Martindale Hall

Presentation of the Martindale Hall collection as an accessible, authentic experience for visitors kept the new caretakers of the iconic Clare Valley property busy during January.

Open Wed to Mon from 11am-4pm, Martindale Hall is in the hands of caretakers Sharon and Mick Morris who also operate the nearby Mintaro Maze.

Now that it is no longer operating as a B&B, many of Martindale Hall’s antiques have been returned to their original positions in the grand Georgian-style mansion.

“We’re in the process of shifting furniture back to its original position”, said caretaker Sharon Morris. “Advisors are coming out to look at the historical side of things to help us set everything up as it would have been when the Mortlock family lived here.”

Sharon said that there is plenty to see and do at Mintaro. “Pack a picnic and head out to Mintaro where you can easily fill in a day by visiting Martindale Hall, Mintaro Maze, the two wineries in town, Iron Gate Studio Gallery, Magpie and Stump hotel, the gardens and the lovely little playground in the centre of town.”

While no longer operating as a bed and breakfast, Sharon said Martindale Hall was still available for special functions such as weddings and parties.

Entry to Martindale Hall is $12 adult, $8 child, and $10 concession. A $2 discount applies to those visiting both Martindale Hall and Mintaro Maze on the same day.

Martindale Hall is closed on Tuesdays for cleaning and maintenance.

For more information visit www.martindalehall-mintaro.com or phone 8843 9012.

To read the full story visit our website.

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New bite-size grants available for small environmental projects

A new ‘bite sized’ funding initiative has been designed to help community, volunteer and school groups to apply for funding for small environmental projects within the Northern and Yorke region.

The ‘bite sized’ grants of between $200-$500 will be rolled out throughout the year, with a simplified application process to help kick-start environmental projects with a natural resource management outcome.

The small grants program is in addition to the annual Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board Community Grants -  also now open for application – which target larger-scale projects, with funding of up to $10,000 available to community groups, volunteer groups and schools, and up to $20,000 available to local government.

Northern and Yorke NRM partnerships, evaluation, review and implementation officer John Peet says the two grant options will provide easier access to funding throughout the year.

“We really value the community input and support of NRM in this region and recognise that the community know what needs to be done in their area,” he says.

“We’re here to support them with their projects that will help their environment and get a better understanding of natural resource management in this region.”

The ‘bite-sized’ grants will be rolled out throughout the year, with applications assessed regularly. Applications unsuccessful in one funding round will be considered in future rounds, with only one bite-sized grant available to groups for the year.

“These grants are aimed at short-term, discrete projects with a NRM focus,” Mr Peet says.

“It might be for small projects such as weed control, a school vegetable garden, or training for group members that might pop up during the year."

“The idea is that application forms will be available online and have been simplified to allow small groups to have access to funding.”

Applicants for both grants should consider the categories of Farmer First; Cities and Towns; Sustainable Development; New Impact on the Landscape; Soil; Community Voice; Next Generation; Pest and Weeds; and Water.

Mr Peet encourages applicants to have a clear and succinct vision of what the project aims to achieve, why they want to undertake it and how it will be implemented.

Applications for the larger-scale Community Grants close on 13 March 2015.

Applications for the bite-size grants are available online at our website.

For more information or assistance with applications, phone the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400.

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The BEST AGM in town

Thirty people gathered in the Barbara J Long Room in Clare on Saturday February 7th for the Biodiversity and Endangered Species Team (BEST) AGM and Information Day. 

The group acknowledged the excellent contribution made by departing Volunteer Support Officer, Wendy Cliff, who has taken a position as Senior Community Nature Conservation Officer with the Sunshine Coast Council. Wendy's enthusiasm, energy and commitment will be greatly missed.

A new Volunteer Support Officer for NRNY will commence work at the Clare office on February 16th.

Office bearers for 2014/15 are:

President - Erica Rees (Trees for Life)

Vice President - Rebecca O'Leary - NYNR Project Officer

Treasurer - Jo Napper

Secterary - NRNY Volunteerr Support Officer

Projects to be supported over the next twelve months include:

  • Trees for Life Threatened Flora Project
  • Woodland Bird and Shorebird Surveys
  • Recovery Team projects including Spiny Daisy, Spalding Blown Grass and Pgymy Blue Tongue
  • Alligator Basin Ecological Burn Monitoring Project
  • GPS & Map Reading Workshop
  • Bat monitoring using Anabat

Following elections and general business, Rebecca O'Leary presented a Spring 2014 Survey Report for the Alligator Basin Ecological Burn Monitoring Project. She was followed by three guest presentations:

Fire in our Environment by Stuart Beinke (NRNY Regional Fire Management Officer).

The impact of sheep grazing activity on burrowing spider populations and pygmy blue-tongue lizards (Tiliqua adelaidensis) in the mid north of South Australia by Jess Clayton (PhD Candidate, Flinders University).

Threatened and Threatening! Invasive cactus ‘hooks’ up with iconic Flinders Ranges rock-wallaby by Lorraine Edmunds (NRNY Communications and Engagement Coordinator and Arkaroola Conservation Officer).

For more information about BEST activities contact the Volunteer Support Officer at the Natural Resources Centre Clare on 8841 3400.

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New weeds declared in South Australia

The State Government has declared an additional 24 weeds, including highly inflammable buffel grass and sweet pittosporum, to reduce the impact of pest plants across South Australia.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the declaration of the weeds under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 is in response to requests from the Natural Resources Management (NRM) Boards and follows consultation with communities and industry.

"I have prohibited the sale of all these plants, and made the control or destruction of some of them enforceable,” Mr Hunter said.

"New weeds are creating new risks for primary production, natural assets and public health and safety, so plant declarations must reflect these developments.

"Biosecurity SA and weed experts from the eight NRM regions have been comprehensively reviewing the declared plant schedule to keep weed management programs in line with current needs. This includes new policies on 51 weeds."

Five formerly declared plants, including onion weed, have been removed from the declaration because legislative backing is no longer needed for regional control activities, while the state policies on 22 other declared plants such as Salvation Jane have been updated.

“An important change is the declaration of buffel grass, an introduced grass that has invaded the semiarid rangelands and is encroaching southwards,” Mr Hunter said.

“Buffel grass is known as a transformer weed in rangelands as it can change the character of the vegetation over wide areas."

“Other plants now prohibited from sale anywhere in South Australia include invasive garden plants such as gazania, sweet pittosporum and white arum lily, with some exemptions for known sterile cultivars.

"The regional NRM Boards have asked me to declare these weeds now so that we can minimise their spread by coordinated management. We aim to protect native vegetation, productive lands and the community from weed impacts.”

The new policies on these weeds are available on the PIRSA website.

Find out how to download the new, user-friendly, South Australian Weed Control app.

Further information on declared weeds is available from Biosecurity SA on 8303 9620 or at the Natural Resources Centre on 8841 3400.

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Upper North Farming Systems Precision Agricultural Day

UNFS will be holding its inaugural Precision Agriculture Day on the 19th of February 2015 bringing together the businesses that provide infrastructure and support to enable the adoption of precision agriculture practices in livestock and cropping enterprises.

Venue: Blacksmiths Chatter, First St, Orroroo

Trade Show                     9.30AM -1.00PM
Technical Presentations  1.20 - 4.30PM
Networking                       4.30PM - 5.30PM (Bar Open)

The morning session will comprise of a trade show with each business having a short allocated time slot to present on their products and free access to all businesses during this time session.

The afternoon session will be a series of non-commercial technical presentations on the different areas where precision agriculture can be implemented into business and the steps required to adopt the technology and improve productivity and profitability.

AM - Trade Displays & Presentations
• TruTest
• AgriPartner Consulting
• Gallagher
• Topcon Precision Agriculture
• Precision Cropping Technologies
• Ag Byte
• Blackmores Power and Water
• AgTech Services
• CR Kennedy Precision Agriculture
• The Alpha Group
• Stockman Telemetry Systems
• Leader Products
• Cousins Merino Services
• Pringles Crouch - John Deere

PM - Technical Presentations
• Remote Monitoring of Stock and Water
• Variable Rate Cropping
• Inter-row Sowing
• Controlled Traffic Farming
• Managing livestock on an Individual vs Flock Scale
• Property Planning using Aerial Imagery
• What’s New and Where is Precision Agriculture Research

Admission: Free for UNFS Members. $20 for non-members.

Lunch included. Bar open at end of day, drinks at own cost.

Please Note: as this venue holds a maximum of 80 people, the afternoon session will be limited to 80 persons on a reserved place / first in basis.

To make reservations contact Ruth Sommerville: 0401042223, unfs@outlook.com.au

This event has been funded by Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC).

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Revegetation funding for Southern YP landholders

Funding is being offered to Southern Yorke Peninsula landholders to undertake revegetation projects, with additional fencing available for larger areas of revegetation.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke team leader community Deborah Furbank says the funding provides significant financial assistance to landholders interested in revegetating areas larger than two hectares.

“Revegetation usually costs $15,000 for 10ha and we are covering this cost, there’s also fencing available for larger areas of revegetation so it’s an ideal opportunity for Southern YP landholders to get onboard,” she says.

“Landholders who qualify will be provided with financial and technical support for site planning, site preparation, revegetation, fencing, pest control and other on-ground works.”

“Southern Yorke Peninsula is home to a diverse range of woodland birds which feed, nest and shelter within different layers of the bush, and currently some areas have become very fragmented or are missing layers, which reduces the habitat and movement of these birds.

“The flow-on problems of fragmented bushland include greater threat to species from predators, as well as greater impact by weed ingress around the edges of these areas.”

For more information or to register interest in applying for revegetation funding, please contact Ms Furbank on 0421 617 155 or email Deborah.Furbank@sa.gov.au

To read the full story visit our website.

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Nature Play SA - Getting our kids outdoors

Australian kids have moved indoors. They are spending less time outside in nature than at any other time in our history.

There is strong evidence that outdoor play and immersion in nature is essential to the health and well-being of children.

It builds resilience, creativity, and nurtures an empathy for nature which often leads to the development of an environmental stewardship ethic later in life.

Nature Play SA is determined to get South Australian kids outside again, climbing trees, building sand-castles and cubby-houses, and exploring the natural world.

A not-for-profit association established in 2014, Nature Play SA has some great ideas to increase the time South Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.

Nature Play SA's ‘Passport to an amazing childhood’ is
designed to encourage children and their families to visit South Australia’s iconic parks and places, as well as doing simple activities closer to home like climbing a tree or camping in the backyard under the stars.

There are two different passports, one for children under five, the other for kids aged five to twelve. Each passport has mission pages, stickers, and suggestions of places to go and things to do outdoors.

Each month one of South Australia's parks will feature as the Nature Play SA Park of the Month. Granite Island Recreation Park, South Australia's most visited park, is the February pick.

To receive a free passport, to learn more about Nature Play SA, or to download 51 things to do before you're 12 or 49 things to do before you're 5, go to www.natureplaysa.org.au

Free national park vehicle entry passes are available for 12 South Australian parks, to families who have Nature Play passports.

For a free pass go to the Nature Play SA website.

Follow Nature Play SA on Facebook.

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Have your say on wild dog plan

The State Government is seeking feedback on the draft South Australian Wild Dog Strategic Plan.

Wild dogs, including dingoes and their hybrids, are both a serious pest of livestock and an admired wildlife species with important ecological and cultural values.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the draft plan aimed to find a balance between these two competing interests.

“Wild dog management is an important and challenging issue,” Mr Hunter said.

“The management of wild dogs is essential for the sustainability of South Australia’s extensive sheep and cattle industries, yet there are benefits in maintaining reasonable dingo populations north of the dog fence to help keep other pest animals in check and for their intrinsic value.

“The key to successful wild dog management is a shared and coordinated approach between government, industry, land managers and the community.”

In addition to the draft South Australian Wild Dog Strategic Plan, the South Australian Wild Dog Advisory Group (SAWDAG) has also produced a report on potential improvements to existing wild dog control programs, including consideration of future funding options.

Mr Hunter praised the level of analysis undertaken by SAWDAG in its report.

“The State Government and the SA Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board are already acting on the recommendations of the SAWDAG report,” Mr Hunter said.

“In the last 12 months $580,000 has been invested in wild dog management, with contributions from the federal and State Governments and the sheep industry."

“This is in addition to the ongoing $1 million a year maintenance costs of the Dog Fence jointly provided by the State Government and industry.”

The public consultation period for the draft South Australian Wild Dog Strategic Plan closes on 27 February 2015.

The SAWDAG report and Government's response to its recommendations are available on the PIRSA website.

To read the draft plan or to download a feedback form visit our website.

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Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group

Formed in 1999, the Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group hosts a series of workshops and field days each year.

The aims & objectives of the group are:

  • To halt the decline of native vegetation in the district through better management and rehabilitation of degraded areas. 
  • Raise awareness of the value and importance of native vegetation.
  • Protect the biodiversity of grassy woodlands and grasslands. 
  • Promote an increasing understanding of surface and ground water resources; prevent further degradation of waterways.
  • Protect the riparian zone of the Worubia Creek; rehabilitate areas of dryland salinity in the Broughton River and Magpie Creek catchment areas.
  • Understand the value of well designed shelterbelts and corridors and plant accordingly.
  • Work towards eradication of noxious weeds and feral animals.
  • Encourage increased participation in/understabding of Landcare in the community.

The group recently received funding through the Australian Government’s NHL 25th Anniversary Grants program.

Dates and events will be posted on the group's website following its AGM in late February.

For more information contact the Secretary by email judith@sommervillepartners.com.au

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Yorke Peninsula farmers watch out for threatened goanna

From Corny Point to Foul Bay, farmers and locals are keeping a watchful eye out for the locally endangered Heath Goanna, as part of a special study on Southern Yorke Peninsula.

Once found in southern Australia from Perth to Sydney, the Heath Goanna has largely disappeared from the Australian mainland.

”I would really like to thank landholders for allowing us to set up monitoring sites on their land and for reporting sightings past and present,” said Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Regional Ecologist Lee Heard.

More than thirty landholders are taking part in the Heath Goanna Study, with seventy monitoring sites established on Southern Yorke Peninsula. The project is funded by the Australian Government and Northern and Yorke NRM Board.

Ms Heard is appealing to anyone who sees live goannas or passes a fresh goanna carcass on the road to stop and take a few photos on their smart phone or camera, record the location, date and time, and forward the information to DEWNRThreatenedWildlife@sa.gov.au

For more information about the Heath Goanna Study contact the Natural Resource Centre Clare on (08) 8841 3400.

To read the full story visit our website.

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SOIL SMART - Understanding your soils

PIRSA Rural Solutions will deliver a series of soil pit workshops across the Northern and Yorke region during March.

The hands-on workshops, which were well supported in 2014, will give farmers the opportunity to see 'inside' the soil and to learn about soil attributes including texture, structure, colour, drainage and the root depths of crop and pasture plants.

Farmers are encouraged to participate in the workshops to learn more about the productive capacity and limitations of the soils that are the foundation of their enterprises.

The workshops will be delivered by PIRSA Rural Solutions SA consultants Mary-Anne Young and Andrew Harding who have exceptional knowledge of the region's soils, their attributes, potential and limitations.

The workshops will be funded by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke and the Australian Government.

Thursday March 12th                                                                      Long Plains - Avon area
9.00 am to 12.30 pm         
Meet at Richard Fabry's paddock, corner Young & Nairn roads, 2 km north of Calomba, 3 km south east of Long Plains.
Contact Mary-Anne Young 0418 897 775

Wednesday March 18th
Wards Hill - Wokurna - Mundoora area                                                9.00 am to 12.30 pm
Meet at Rodger's paddock, Wards Hill old school and church site, Wards Hill Road.
Contact Mary-Anne Young 0418 897 775

Tuesday March 25th                                                            Georgetown - Caltowie
8.45 am to 12.30 pm                                                                         Meet at Mark Crawford's paddock, corner Lyon's & Pipeline roads,      5 km SE Georgetoewn.
Contact Mary-Anne Young 0418 897 775

The date and venue for a fourth workshop is yet to be finalised and will be included in the March issue of Yakka. 

For more information contact Mary-Anne Young on 0418 897 775 or Andrew Harding on 0417 886 835.                                 

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Hart Field Site Group dates for 2015

Since 1982, a group of farmers from the Mid North have been hosting field days for grain-growers. Having started as a local soil board with Department of Agriculture support in the 1980s, Hart Field Site Group Inc now own and manage South Australia’s premier agronomic field site.

The Hart Group, farmers and agricultural industry professionals, conduct trials and provide independent information to the broadacre cropping industry. Each year the group hosts two crop walks during the growing season, a seminar in March and a field day in September. Tours can also be arranged by appointment, for student and farming groups.

The annual field day and winter and spring walks are held on the group’s 40 hectare property, located between Blyth and Brinkworth.

Hart Field Site dates for 2015:

Getting The Crop In Seminar   Wednesday 11 March 2015 

  • A half day event, the GTCI seminar will be held at the Vine Christian Church, Stradbroke Road, Clare (near Clare racecourse).
  • The GTCI seminar is free.
  • A gourmet cooked breakfast will be provided.
  • A full program and guest speaker list is yet to be announced and will be published on the group’s website closer to the event.
  • The seminar will be followed in the afternoon by the GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers (lunch provided).

Hart Winter Walk         Tuesday 21 July
Hart Field Day             Tuesday 15 September
Spring Twilight Walk   Tuesday 20 October

Themes and speakers for the winter and spring walks will be published on the group’s website later in the year.

The Hart Field Site Group also produce Hart Beat, a monthly newsletter which is available as a free download from the group’s website.

The Hart Field Site Trial Results Book will be released at the Getting The Crop In seminar. It will be freely available online after its release. Hard copies are available for release and must be pre-ordered via the group’s website: http://www.hartfieldsite.org.au/pages/trials-results.php

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Vegetation Monitoring Workshops

Free for Volunteers & Landholders in the Northern & Yorke Region.

Would you like to learn monitoring techniques for a revegetation or restoration project you or your group are starting/working on?

Vegetation monitoring allows land/project managers to measure progress in conserving native vegetation and evaluate their efforts.

It can be used for both remnant (remaining) vegetation management and revegetation projects.

This workshop will be delivered by Anne Brown from Greening Australia. It will teach you techniques used in Rapid Assessment & Bushland Condition Monitoring (developed by NCSSA).

The training is 1 day (5 hours, includes breaks) with a maximum of 10 participants. Participants will be sent more information & pre-reading prior to workshop.

Workshops will be held on:
• Tuesday 19th May – Mulbura Park, Mulburra Park Road, approx. 6 km NNW of Port Vincent
• Wednesday 20th May – Neagles Rock Reserve, Clare
• Thursday 21st May – King Tree Paddock, Wirrabara Forest

Learning Outcomes:

• Photo-point methodology
• Determining vegetation cover & structure
• Growth & success monitoring
• Recruitment
• Restoration success

To register your interest contact the Natural Resources Centre on 8841 3400. We will need your name, email or postal address and preferred workshop location.

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Creating and Understanding Change - communicating with farmers

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Ag Excellence Alliance and Ag Consulting Co are collaborating to improve the communication skills of government officers and others who work with farmers.

A workshop, Communicating with Farmers, will be held in Clare on 13 April 2015. 

It will be facilitated by Bill and Jeanette Long from Ag Consulting Co.

Bill is a farm consultant, researcher and project manager.

Jeanette is a facilitator, trainer and coach, who develops people skills.

The workshops will target DEWNR staff, consultants, grower groups staff and anyone else who works with farmers.

The workshops aim to develop skills and strategies for: 

  • Building relationships and rapport with individuals
  • Listening and questioning for understanding
  • Dealing with emotion and misunderstandings in conversations
  • Developing negotiation techniques
  • Creating outcomes and change
  • Having a go - practical application

The workshop is free, however as places are limited, any person who books a place but is unable to attend and does not provide sufficient notice, may be charged.

Clare - Monday April 13th

9.00 am (sharp) to 4pm (lunch included)

Venue: tyo be advised

To register contact Mandy Pearce (Ag Excellence Alliance) on 0418 805 670 or Email: mandy@agex.org.au

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What's on in Northern & Yorke?

Keep up to date about upcoming events, workshops, field days, and volunteer opportunities by visiting Get Involved on the Northern & Yorke website. 

Contact us to submit your upcoming community events.  

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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Government of South Australia
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