James Nelsson from the Loddon Plains Landcare Network, and Adrian Martins from North Central CMA have had a great twinning partnership exploring all things wetlands in the fabulous Kamarooka complex – watch their video and read their story ….
Our primary goals were to carry out protection and restoration of privately owned ephemeral wetlands within the Kamarooka wetland complex by:
- establishing a target condition for the wetlands,
- establishing a baseline of current wetland health
- scoping and pricing the works required to achieve that target, and
- working collaboratively with landholders, contractors and the NCCMA, undertake rehabilitation and restoration of targeted wetlands within the Kamarooka complex.
Reflecting back on the mentoring agreement that we established at the commencement of the Twinning program we managed to achieve a number of key activities over the course of the year.
- Importantly, James managed to deliver the key on-ground works outputs at selected wetlands sites. In collaboration with private landholders this included fencing, tubestock establishment and direct seeding. In total 14km of fence was erected, 50ha of seed sown and native vegetation planted and 92ha of wetlands protected.
- Networking and capacity building were also other key activities achieved. James was introduced to Damien Cook and Phil Dyson, two experts in their respective field of aquatic vegetation and hydrogeology, who both contributed their time to the project and improving James’ knowledge of the area and individual wetlands. Following Damien’s input, James then enrolled in one of Damien’s company (Rakali Pty Ltd) wetland training courses, to improve his understanding of wetland vegetation identification.
- Another key achievement, again supported with Damien’s input was initiating contact with Parks Victoria to gain an understanding of grazing management at two public wetlands, Thunder and Tang Tang Swamp. Upon enquiring, a meeting was arranged with regional PV staff which resulted in providing PV with baseline native vegetation values and data. This ultimately led to ceasing grazing at Thunder Swamp to improve native vegetation condition and response and, clarifying new arrangements at Tang Tang Swamp consistent with ecological requirements for this site.
Working with diverse members of the community provides some interesting challenges. Assumed knowledge, individual assumptions, different agendas, and mis-communication are all a part of working with land-managers. It’s worth the time to map-out what you are trying to achieve, and reiterate this with the stakeholders at each stage of the process.
What did you personally gain from the Waterway Management Twinning Program?
“Twinning involves supportive, collaborative, multi-disciplined partnerships, allowing participants to achieve better skills and insights into waterway restoration. This, in turn, enables participants to apply these insights in a meaningful way in real world, on-ground projects. The program has encouraged me to focus more on why I am doing what I do, rather than just on the actual doing. I will continue to espouse the value of this fantastic project and the benefits gained through the collaborative approach of this model.”
“There are many things I’ve enjoyed about the Twinning Program, networking, learning, ‘thought bubbles’, humour, reflection…..but probably the most significant enjoyment and valuable thing/outcome is that confirmation of knowing there are many moving parts to life and its not always easy to get things right or correct, answers are difficult at time and that mistakes are made. And that is ok.”