Funding Source: Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program
Timeline: August 2021 – April 2022
Funding received: $50 000
This project will focus on the protection and enhancement of riparian condition on Fifteen Mile Creek and Boggy Creek and protection of remnant vegetation on the Futters Range in the upper catchment of the Greta Valley.
The Futters Range (and its continuation to the north, the Warby Ranges) provides an important linkage from the Australian Alpine Area to the Lower Ovens River and Murray River corridors. Upper reaches of these waterways form important wildlife corridors and refuges in times of drought and fire for our terrestrial and aquatic native fauna species.
This project will protect and improve the condition of existing native vegetation through fencing, weed control (targeting blackberry and willow) and pest animal control (targeting deer and feral pigs). The activities will be completed in a cost share arrangement with landholders to build community capacity and engagement in best practice natural resource management, supporting post-fire recovery in these regions.
Our project targets:
- Protection of existing remnant patches of bush along the Futters Range, by fencing to exclude stock to protect sensitive ground species including orchids and smaller shrubs
- Removal of invasive woody weeds (blackberry and willow) on Fifteen Mile Creek and Boggy Creek to enhance this riparian corridor, protecting a summer drought refuge for terrestrial and aquatic fauna.
- Control of pest animals, focusing on deer and feral pigs, that are spreading from the alpine areas to our upper catchment.
Webinar – Fifteen Mile Creek and Boggy Creek Waterway Management
In this webinar, Julian Martin from local company Water Technology, will take us through the historical changes that have occurred on Boggy and Fifteen Mile Creek and how these waterways have behaved in response. The presentation will help to inform how we can manage these waterways moving forward. Sally Day will also present information about our current waterways grant, focusing on weed and pest animal control.
Recorded on 31st January 2022. Runs for 1 hr and 10 minutes including questions.
The grant funding received for this project is not large and we are trying to maximise the onground impacts of this funding. To this end, the landholders will be required to assist and work in partnership with the Landcare group to achieve the best onground outcomes. The Committee has defined a cost share arrangement of 30:70 (landholder: grant funding) for any spray work done by contractors on the property.
The project area is quite specific for this program and must focus on:
– Fifteen Mile Creek (from the Greta South to Myrrhee)
– Boggy Creek
– Patches of remnant vegetation in the Futters Range (shown in yellow on map right)
– Tributaries of the 15 Mile Creek and Boggy Creek OR other minor waterways in the upper catchment (south of the Moyhu-Hansonville Road).
The outcomes that must be achieved with this project include:
- Delivery of one workshop on river management to landholders along Boggy Creek and 15 Mile Creek
- Development of site plans for 12 landholders
- 1000m of fencing to protect remnant bushland on the Futters Range
- 40 ha of weed control on 15 Mile Creek and Boggy Creek (20 days for crew of 2 operators)
- Pest animal control targeting deer and feral pigs (total of 96 hrs available).
Expressions of Interest
Those interested in applying for funding for their property should fill out an Expression of Interest Form at www.tinyurl.com/GVLG2021EoI or call Sally Day on 0437 136 162 for more information.
Round 1 of the Expression of Interest period closes on the 22nd November 2021. Round 2 will close on 28 February 2022.
– Site plans were developed for managing 31 areas across the catchment in this project.
– During the course of the project, 19 new members have engaged with the Landcare Group over just a four month period. This is outstanding and a terrific response to this project, the support being offered by Landcare and interest in improving our waterways.
– We have worked closely with local weed control contractors to reduce the threat of invasive weeds in our catchment. Crews commenced on 2/2/2022 and completed works on 14/4/2022, targeting all 31 sites across the Boggy and Fifteen Mile Creek catchments, covering an area of 269 hectares of riparian land.
– We have worked collaboratively with multiple Victorian Departments to maximise the outcomes of this project. We have developed excellent working relationships with DELWP (Forest Fire Management), North East CMA, Agriculture Victoria (Biosecurity Branch) and
Rural City of Wangaratta. This has allowed us to leverage $5927 into the project in cash contributions, as well as an 10 days of spraying to the value of $30 000, paid for by Council directly. Landholders provided cash contributions totalling $15300 to the project. We have therefore DOUBLED the investment of this project funding.
– A variation was approved to shift pest control and fencing budgets to weed control, which is where we had a high demand and need for assistance.
– Riparian management workshop held via webinar on 31/1/2022 which helped to build community knowledge in river management and an awareness of the complexities of these waterway systems.
Some photos from out control program, please hover over photos for captions.
We have developed a plan to address the ongoing issue of weed control by supporting landholders with information to help them positively ID weeds, develop control strategies and are investigating implementing a long term control program for weed control on waterways within the catchment.
The waterways have an excellent foundation for recovery of native vegetation and long term resilience if we can engage with landholders so that they understand the threats and values of these systems. Abundant native recruitment can occur on these systems given the right conditions. We also have grant funding from another grant which will provide participants with native shrubs to plant in winter 2022 across their frontages.
We have undertaken a survey of program participants and the overwhelming response is that individual landholders could not have achieved these outcomes on their own. This project has been an amasing collaborative project between Landcare, landholders and various government departments. We are now on a path to establishing a long term model of caring for our local waterways.