Setting up a new group is an exciting milestone for a Landcare Coordinator. By taking a well-planned approach and using some good facilitation tools such as World Cafe, a new group was enthusiastically formed.
The Muttama Creek Catchment lies between Cootamundra and Gundagai featuring highly fertile alluvial planes along a narrowed river system contrasted by steep, brittle hills mostly cleared of vegetation. The catchment area comprises threatened Box Gum Grassy Woodlands that have been degraded over the years due to agricultural production. The Muttama Creek corridor is a major linkage corridor through the catchment which comprises of scattered remnant River Red Gum. The corridor and with it the catchment is degrading with over-grazing being a major factor of tree loss and stream bank erosion.
Past attempts to interest landholders in improved natural resource management at a grass roots level by Local Land Services and Catchment Management Authorities had been met with minimal uptake and project funds were not easy to expend.When a family landholder group asked for Landcare advice to address a number of on-farm environmental concerns, it became evident that the challenges they faced were shared by neighbours along much of the catchment and it was decided to invite the broader community to have a conversation about the main issues of concern.