The First Kachana Landscape Management Workshop 2002
“Animal maintained landscapes”
04th, 05th and 06th September
What is the aim of this Workshop?
This event is to celebrate ten long years of land-management on Kachana. Most of the first five we had no idea of what could be done. We were moved by a firm conviction, that perseverance and what used to be termed “common sense” would compensate for the lack of funding and the lack of experience. The next five years we had no idea what resistance we would run into at industry and department levels. Our progress was greatly enhanced by knowledge gleaned from the international Holistic Management network and the driving force behind it: Allan Savory, author, wildlife scientist and international authority on eco-system function.
Now after ten years of management in our model areas we have some impressive results in country that in 1992 resembled a desert. (http://managingwholes.com/kachana1.htm) Each year we are producing and sequestering more carbon than ever before. We see species we have never seen before: mainly fungi, spiders and insects. Our quail population alone more than doubled last year (2001). (In 1992 we did not even know we had quail!) Each year we see plants and birds in places we did not expect them to be. Our larger marsupials and other animals are still shy, but numbers are on the increase. We feel we are heading in generally the right direction. However we can still safely say we do not know what this country is capable of and departmental resistance to our management techniques, although it is beginning to wane, is still a major concern.
We thank ABC-TV and the Landline crew for the coverage they gave us:
“Far and Away” was screened twice in July 2000 and again in December 2000: http://www.abc.net.au/landline/stories/s148500.htm
In more recent coverage, where our views were also broadcast in “To Burn or Not To Burn” (http://www.abc.net.au/landline/stories/s308791.htm ), our regional head of AGWEST correctly summed up our predicament in his statement:
“... the jury is still out ...”
Our departments are still overloading our desks with “information” and associated legislation that in our experience is either unworkable or impractical out in the field at landscape levels.
We are not aware of any publicly endorsed research that is happening to establish whether or not, what seems to be working for private individualsat industry-levels on various continents, is also applicable to the management of Australian landscapes. ie the use of herding herbivores to revitalise and maintain health in our grasslands and the minimisation of burning.
This event was hosted to enable “the jury” to participate in an inspection of our photo-monitor sites. Areas in which we consider that management has been poor, haphazard or negligent were also viewed.