JMA - It’s a wrap
It's been four years, 16 property management plans and a lot of on- ground work to improve native vegetation, soil stability and water quality in the Cape York Joint Management Area.
Now it's time to wrap it up, review the results and monitor for the long term.
The JMA program, which covers the Palmer River and the northern side of the Mitchell River catchment, has been an innovative partnership between Cape York NRM and the Gulf Savannah NRM— with funding support from the Queensland Governments’ Natural Resources Investment Program—to launch a myriad of projects in pasture improvement, gully erosion management, fire management, road/firebreak erosion control and wetland/riparian/floodplain management on 16 properties spanning more than 800,000 hectares of land.
"Ultimately, the program aimed to improve land condition and waterway and wetland health. Graziers have completed some fantastic projects with important and lasting outcomes, both for their land and for downstream freshwater and marine environments.," Project Officer Harry James says.
"It has been a huge program, and has encouraged the learning of new skills and knowledge through on-ground works projects and workshop activities, a greater knowledge of the Mitchell catchment, and importantly, a really strong network for graziers.
"I have really enjoyed getting to meet and work with these people whose life is their land."
In collaboration with grazing land managers, the JMA program mapped out property-specific action plans to carry out works such as cattle exclusion fencing along gullies and waterways; re-seeding of soils; early dry season burns; stable crossings; cattle trap yards on permanent waters to reduce grazing from feral cattle; and strategic fencing for herd management such as separating grazing land types to spread grazing pressure.
Now it's time to revisit old friends. Harry and fellow Cape York NRM project officer (and wife) Nat James will be taking to the road to visit each property, and are keen for a cuppa, a yarn and to measure the program's success for a comprehensive report down the track.
This project is funded by the Queensland Government's Natural Resources Investment Program.