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Integrating instinct and science to deliver NRM outcomes

Huggins Jason 1 and Hamilton Penny2


Resource managers and land owners face a changing operating environment, particularly in relation to achieving natural resource outcomes. Many of the support mechanisms and tools required to assist them to adapt to that change, either do not exist or are inaccessible, impractical or singular. It is recognised that individual approaches are no longer feasible for measurable change in conditions of our natural resources and the adoption of a landscape approach appears more feasible

An area-wide approach to finding solutions for wider issues has worked well in pest management in the cotton industry across Queensland (integrated pest management or IPM) with resulting improvements in the farming systems. Work in Felton Valley embraced the underlying philosophy of IPM and adapted it to the natural resource system.

Felton Valley was chosen as a project area due to its uniqueness in terms of having four local government areas, seven remnant vegetation types, a number of different soil types and land use, a significant creek system and a landholder driven, Landcare sub-catchment action plan. A key success factor was integrating landholder knowledge and scientific study to allow for targeted on ground works to re-dress environmental degradation. Benefits were evident in multiple partnerships, within a single project, to increase the knowledge base, link the science to practical application and expand the networks. The Valley now has a blue print for all stakeholders to confidently move towards better management of their unique natural resources in the valley with the challenge being to engender the area wide commitment for change.

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