Looking At Landcare – 27/10/2017

Hi Landcarers

A group representing Central West Lachlan Landcare attended the biannual NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference was held in Albury this week.

This is an opportunity for Landcarers from over the State to gather and learn more about issues impacting agriculture, biodiversity, water and culture.

The conference commenced with the Landcare Muster which is a chance to review what Landcare has achieved over the past two years since the previous Conference and the opportunities that are on the horizon for Landcare.

The first Key Note Speaker was Dr Karl Kruszelnicki who is currently the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at Sydney University, where his mission is to spread the good word about science and its benefits.

As expected, Dr Karl was very entertaining and engaging and kept the show moving. His enthusiasm for science was very infectious and no one is better able to convey the excitement and wonder of the topic than Dr Karl.

The second Key Note Speaker was Stan Grant Junior who has a long professional history that has blended media with politics.

Stan is the Indigenous Affairs Editor for the ABC and special advisor to the Prime Minister on Indigenous constitutional recognition.

Day two ran concurrent sessions, including field trips, covering Aboriginal Landcare, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and water. Field trips included the Hume reservoir, being the main storage for the Murray River System and the afternoon discussion revolved around water issues impacting river systems.

The sustainable agriculture field trip included a trip to Woomargama Station showcasing a Slopes2Summit BushLinks project targeting threatened species infrastructure and farming landscapes. This field trip also included a presentation on pasture legumes and their role in grazing and cropping

Guy Webb spoke about the Soil C Quest project and launched their crowdfunding campaign to assist with funds to undertake testing for a soil carbon inoculum capable of rapid and secure soil carbon sequestration into farming and improved pasture soils.

This is a landmark opportunity for the Central West being the base for the Soil C Quest project. There is no argument in most circles as to whether there is an issue with the increasing amount of carbon in our atmosphere and the impact that will have on our farming systems.

This was particularly relevant after listening to the presentation by Key Note Speaker, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki who spoke about the impact of changes in ecosystems and private losses, versus private profits and how in the short time we can often promote positive financial benefits for a project that can have a long term negative environmental impact.

He then went on to talk about what the tipping point will be for the Arctic and the changes that global warming will bring and plans to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One of the solutions was developing a commercial plant that removed carbon from the atmosphere. The number of these plants required to bring the issue under control was significant.

Dr Karl looked at the Soil C Quest concept that is less invasive and could be used by farmers, enabling them to manage a problem that will inevitably start impacting our agricultural production.

Whilst conferences like this take several days out of a work program and involve a lot of organisation, the benefits of speaking with leaders in their field and gaining inspiration from others who are working in the same space is very beneficial to Landcare and the communities that we are working in.

For more information about anything in this article, please contact Central West Lachlan Landcare on 02 6862 4914, cwllpo@hotmail.com, facebook or our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org

Until next week, happy Landcaring!