The Great Eastern Ranges initiative (GER) was first devised as a vision to bring lands under private management and conservation projects into a single recognisable group. This enables more accurate mapping of the expanding interest and connected protection areas for our native wild plants and animals currently happening beyond the restricted 9% coverage of national parks.
Today this vision takes in a rough, broad 3,600km corridor from western Victoria, through NSW, the ACT, and up to far northern Queensland, with the corridor connectivity spreading and gradually linking as more and more landowners register and come on board.
To qualify for registration a property must be under protective land management, or have a conservation project either planned or underway, and this fact alone makes GER’s rapid expansion inspirational and exciting.
Up and down the Great Eastern Ranges to the coast, wildlife protection is now being assured across three world heritage areas, Landcare and community group projects, indigenous lands, schools, and numerous freehold lands, all carrying out projects and management activities to support ecological endurance in the face of climate change, habitat loss and predation and invasion by introduced pests.
The Clarence Valley Land for Wildlife (LfW) group is now a proud part of this inspiring vision. Our region’s now 100 properties registered as LfW, many in an already connected chain across Pillar Valley where conservation work is happening under the government-funded Upper Coldstream Biodiversity project, and the 1,000 Koala Trees a Year planting project now in its first year, made registration with the GER Initiative eagerly welcomed.
Land for Wildlife is a totally voluntary program, it does not attach to a property’s title, and may be quickly discontinued if a landholder decides it is not for them.
All landowners with a hectare or more that they would like to manage as wildlife habitat are invited to join, by contacting the Clarence Environment Centre, South Grafton (6643 1863), to become a part of the Land for Wildlife scheme and this momentous GER enterprise.
- P. Edwards
This post was originally published in the "Voices for the Earth" column in The Daily Examiner on 1 June, 2015.