Terrain NRM

Passion, environment and lifestyle lures young land stewards

The future is bright for the Deguara family, a Mackay Whitsunday sugar cane family who not only works the land, but has expansion of their operations on the cards with a strong focus on improving the environment.

Sugarcane grower Gerry Deguara heavily involves his two sons, Sam and Joe, in his farming operations. Based in the Reef Catchments area of Mackay Whitsunday, Gerry says a key ingredient to keeping younger growers interested in being land stewards is to offer a bit more of a challenge. Environmental issues certainly makes this possible with a great effort into improving their soil, irrigation, chemical and nutrient to improve water quality through their participation on ‘Project Catalyst’, a project with partners including NRM groups Reef Catchments, NQ Dry Tropics, Terrain in addition to the Coca-Cola Foundation, WWF and the Australian Government through the Caring for our Country’s Reef Rescue program. Continue Reading…

NRM, Far North Queensland style!

Terrain is rising to the challenge of how to get more young people interested and involved with natural resource management (NRM). Using social media seems to be an obvious way to give some new ideas a go.

In a creative attempt to engage and attract younger recruits to the business of NRM and volunteerism, Terrain asked visiting prospective students at James Cook University’s (JCU) Open Day, to take a pair of ‘Terrain’ thongs and post photos of them on facebook. The best photo reflecting what NRM means to them, wins 1 month of paid work experience with Terrain. Continue Reading…

Helping the birds bounce back

After two extreme cyclones crossing the region in the space of five years, Terrain NRM and the Wet Tropics community are very familiar with the need to build resilience in the landscape.  A broad range of land management responses have arisen during recovery efforts however the endangered cassowary has been a feature due to their rapidly declining populations and strong reliance on intact landscapes.

Cyclone Larry in 2006 taught the region about the impact of extreme weather on habitat quality, connectivity and the birds’ change in behaviour.  Significant food shortages for the cassowary along with increased incidents of vehicle strike and dog attack had a large impact on cassowary numbers post-cyclone. Continue Reading…

Third round of Reef Rescue underway in the Wet Tropics

Applications flooded in from farmers in the far north, keen to take up incentive grants to improve farming practices for the third year of Reef Rescue funding. A remarkable range of project proposals were received from the sugar cane, banana, papaw, Tableland multi-crop, dairy and grazing industries.

The cane industry submitted the highest number of project applications, comprising 67% of the total number received.  This reflects the major allocation of incentive funds to the cane industry as it’s the main crop grown in the region. Horticulture and grazing industries submitted 16% and 10% respectively of the applications received.  This is more than twice the number of grazing project applications received last year due to the eligibility of wet grazing this round.

Continue Reading…

Cardboard mats help stabilise eroded gullies

David and Glenyse Hampton own a grazing property on the Atherton Tablelands bordering the rainforest of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Run-off from a highway was draining into their paddock resulting in large gully erosion. The gully tended to hold the moisture so the grass cover was always better than surrounding paddocks, making it very attractive to cattle camping there and grazing continually. The result was eroded areas causing major sediment and nutrient losses from the gully into the creek.

The Hamptons took the opportunity offered by the Reef Rescue program in 2009 to fence the gully and creek to restrict cattle access.  Continue Reading…