Benambra Landcare Group
The Benambra Landcare Group is a group of Benambra district residents acting together to tackle local environmental problems, with the aim of ensuring the long-term viability of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in the area and its surrounds. Benambra is part of the East Gippsland Shire and the Benambra Landcare Group retains its links to other East Gippsland groups through its joint projects with Omeo Landcare Group.
Most of the members of the Benambra Landcare Group are farmers and graziers who are working to prevent and to repair, environmental degradation on both their own land and on the district's public lands and waters.
The Group receives considerable support from government agencies, particularly the North East Catchment Management Authority. Government grants to subsidise the costs of some materials and machinery hire for rectification and preventative projects have been of great importance. Education and information services, along with continuing physical support by field officers of the DPI and CMA, have played a significant role.
Government initiatives and grants have been directed at:
- Gully erosion
- Weeds and Pest animals
- Tree planting
- Native tree rehabilitation
The Benambra Landcare Group actively participates in targeted initiatives:
- Gully erosion rehabilitation continues to be undertaken through earthworks, fencing, tree planting and pasture management
- The Rabbit Buster program, which follows up on the release of the Calici Virus, has been carried out throughout a large area of the district; with the ripping, fumigation and grass re-sowing of warren areas.
- Weed spraying and grass re-seeding throughout the district. The main emphasis has been on English Broom and Blackberry control along the Mitta Mitta River and Livingstone Creek.
- Broom control through spraying and biocontrol establishment has been a major activity since the 2004 fires.
- Foxes, which are a danger to both small native animals and lambs, are being subjected to an effective control program.
- Wild dogs pose serious threat to larger native animals and farm stock; however, despite private and public control measures, the continuing wild dog problem is of concern to the Group. Following the Wild Dog Conference in Wodonga in early 2002, Landcare members and DNRE staff are conducting wild dog control measures in the areas most at risk around Benambra.
- Tree planting and fencing to create wildlife corridors continues.
- Native Tree rehabilitation and protection, including fencing and stock removal from sensitive areas, is underway and expanding.
Omeo Benambra Community Weed Project
This is a joint project between Omeo Landcare Group and Benambra Landcare group, and funded by the Victorian Second Generation Landcare Grants.