Construct walking/cycling tracks and manage vegetation to improve recreational opportunities in natural areas within local towns, including interpretive signage.
Increased access to natural areas close to urban areas can build attachment to places, increase appreciation and allow the community to build stewardship over their urban natural assets. Good areas could include Atherton – Priors Ck to Mazlin Ck; Malanda riverine (Johnstone R), Yungaburra - Peterson Ck.
Maintain and extend existing vegetation and connectivity, using range of approaches including planning. Focus on areas where connections can be established within 5-10 years eg. Boonjie-Topaz Valley; Malanda-Millaa Millaa-Ravenshoe-Jaggan outlier; Russell Pocket Rd-Tinaroo.
Protecting existing vegetation through good planning is cost effective. Maintaining existing revegetation areas builds on previous investment. New revegetation will enable connectivity to be re-established in cleared areas. All three approaches together will help face challenges such as climate change, urban development.
Establish wide, well grassed farm drainage systems and detention basins, which encourage infiltration rather than runoff.
These actions have been proven to be effective in minimising sediment and nutrient runoff. Maintenance of existing systems is essential to ensure ongoing benefits and ensure efficiency. Important locations include Spring Ck, Hallorans Hill (areas where soil loss is high).
Investigate water conservation initiatives on rural and urban land, including education programs and on-ground activities.
It is important to be efficient with water due to the competing demands from increasing urban populations, farmers and environmental flows, in a changing climate. Other areas of focus can include riparian restoration, urban stormwater management and irrigation techniques, etc.
Provide opportunities for more Traditional Owner involvement in NRM, resulting in improved sharing of knowledge and collaboration.
This action will result in better collaboration and partnerships between TOs and other stakeholders and increased understanding and maintenance of culture and country connections. Training should be included where necessary.
Support for community groups to conduct revegetation and management of riparian areas, including access to research, planning and funding.
There is strong community capacity to successfully plan and implement this project, providing multiple environmental outcomes (habitat connectivity, climate refuge links, improved water quality, reduced erosion). Important areas include Curtain Fig – Wongabel – Herberton Range.
Develop an education and extension program to raise landholder awareness of the benefits of riparian revegetation and habitat connectivity.
Using a positive approach to promote the benefits of good vegetation management, to both natural and farming systems, will get more people on board to retain native vegetation and regrow connections.
Develop environmental and cultural education programs for school curriculum.
This project will increase understanding and connection with the environment. Education of young people will result in a long term legacy of increased awareness. Delivery through formal and informal education eg. School and home.
Use incentives, education and marketing as ongoing tools to help people keep rubbish in the bin.
Providing a cleaner environment will assist with protecting species and habitat and will also be good for tourism and marketing of the region. Target schools and general population. Hold public days for rubbish clean ups.
Develop education programs for the community about the values (ecological, economic, cultural, recreational) of natural areas.
Need to engage with people and make sure that our activities and initiatives are noticed. Increasing knowledge and awareness will increase the value the community places on these areas. Use of interpretive signs and marketing will target a variety of stakeholder groups.
Revegetate along water ways and on top of hills, building connectivity, preventing erosion and supplying livestock with shade.
Revegetation in areas of high erosion will provide many outcomes, including stabilising sites and improving water quality and biodiversity. Upper Barron is an important area to focus on.
Revegetate and rehabilitate priority riparian areas, focusing on Peterson Creek (up stream of Gillies Highway).
Rehabilitation of waterways provides multiple benefits, including improved biodiversity, water quality and farm sustainability and increased tourism opportunities. Restoration in areas that are highly visible also provides community awareness raising opportunities.
Explore payments for environmental services on private land as incentives for contributions to biodiversity.
Farming is a huge part of the landscape and has the potential to be a major driver for sustainability, productivity and contributions to biodiversity. Investigate labelling or certification systems which take into account real costs and benefits.
Develop a range of initiatives to support sustainable agriculture e.g. sustainable food co-op, value adding to local produce, promotion of Tablelands as a sustainable farming destination.
This would provide a more secure farming future with reduced environmental impacts. It would also reduce freight costs and increase employment in the agricultural sector.
Establish corridors to improve biodiversity outcomes on farming land.
The project will provide positive benefits and improved sustainability for both environmental and agricultural systems.