The following Field Trips are planned for ARS 2019 attendees.


Semi-arid woodlands – Maintaining and improving social licence to operate

This ~2 ½ day tour will travel to western New South Wales where considerable land-use and land management has occurred in recent years. Practical examples of landscape scale restoration and conservation activities in the semi-arid woodlands will be a focus of the tour. In the areas surrounding Cobar and Bourke some ~23 % of land-use has changed from traditional pastoral activities to carbon farming. There has also been significant uptake of the management of total grazing pressure through exclusion fencing in these areas. The tour will visit sites where emerging management and enterprise options of carbon farming and exclusion fencing (Cluster) are being undertaken. Initiatives planned by the Kangaroo Management Inter-agency Working Group will illustrate a mechanism to address the needs of multiple stakeholder groups in addressing complex issues. The environmental, social and production implications of land-use and land management changes will be discussed in the context of maintaining and improving the social licence to operate in semi-arid pastoral enterprises. The tour will include overnight stays in Cobar and Condobolin and on-property camp oven/BBQ dinners each night.

The tour will depart Canberra early on Saturday morning (31 August) – departure time is 6am. Return to Canberra on Monday afternoon (2 September).

Participation costs:

  • Option 1: Departing from Canberra – $430 inc GST per person
  • Option 2: Join the tour from Cobar (and return to Canberra) – $350 inc GST per person

Participants on this Field Trip are invited to download the field trip booklet – SEMI ARID WOODLANDS 


Monaro and alpine grasslands – Grazing and conservation in temperate rangelands

This one-day field trip will take participants through tree-less plains (though not without trees) of the predominantly sheep grazed grasslands of the Monaro region south of Canberra (~1 ½ hrs). These relatively high-altitude grasslands range from high conservation native grasslands through to highly productive improved pastures. Over the course of this field trip we will talk about what makes the Monaro grasslands unique (geology, climate and elevation) along with a variety of issues that many landholders face including the role of native and improved grasses in grazing production systems / weed issues / drought management / legislative changes / history and research of native grasslands / grassland restoration. To cover these areas, we will have a number of stops at over the course of the day and lunch and morning and afternoon tea will be provided. While we will focus on the lower altitude grasslands should weather and snow (or lack thereof) allow us to we may also have the opportunity to visit some alpine grasslands also. Participants should be prepared for possibly cold and windy conditions.

Participation cost (travel, morning/afternoon tea, & lunch) – $100 inc GST per person

Departure time: 8am from University House, ANU

Return to Canberra at 6pm

Sites to visit:
“Coolringdon” –  discuss various aspects of running a merino wool operation, drought management and the role of native grasses and improved pastures. We will also visit a number of sites that will feed into our discussions. At the end of these discussions we will have lunch here.
“Gunningrah” – this property is a wool & cattle enterprise. The owners have been actively involved in undertaking a range of improvements across their property including elements of natural sequence farming, rotational grazing and managing their property around groundcover. They are part of the Soil for Life network and have received numerous awards from a variety of organisations for their on-ground work.
“Scottsdale” – owned and managed by Bush Heritage Trust, who own a number of properties across Australia with the aim of managing them for the native ecosystems that they encompass. Scottsdale contains a mix of native grasslands and forested ecosystems with the native grasslands have been particularly impacted by the highly invasive weed, African Lovegrass. We will discuss with the manager how Scottsdale have been dealing with this issue in order to revegetate this property back to native grasses.

 


Nature in the City Tour

The Bush Capital is expanding at a rapid pace into pastoral land which is increasingly threatened. This tour will take you to natural areas within and on the edge of Canberra where volunteers concerned about care of the natural environment, ecologists and riparian scientists are working with Government to address community concerns. These include kangaroo culling, “offsetting” of land of high conservation value, management of threatened species and communities within and on the periphery of the city, engaging the community in land care activities, unhealthy waterways and spread of weeds. During this full day tour, you will meet people managing these issues. Lunch will be on a working station at the rural edge. The tour begins at 9 am and returns at 4.30pm.

Participation cost (travel, morning/afternoon tea, & lunch) – $100 inc GST per person