A survey of remnant vegetation in the Harden Shire indicated that our region had only 2.8% of its original vegetation remaining (further details below).
In 2002, with funding from the Environment Australia’s Bushcare Program, HMLG worked in partnership with the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research (CPBR) and CSIRO to develop a Native Species Guide for revegetating Harden Shire.
One of HMLG’s objectives for involving CPBR in this work was to use their expertise to produce a Guide that was based on a scientifically defensible vegetation species composition. The planting lists were also to be environmentally compatible to serve as a model for other Landcare areas throughout the country.
With so little native vegetation remaining in Harden, meeting this objective would prove a challenge. Drawing on CPBR’s resources, various methods were employed to understand what the flora of the Harden area may have been like prior to European settlement and clearing for agriculture.
Regionally appropriate species lists were developed based on review of historical scientific collections from Harden, and the interpretation of data and records from surrounding areas.
This project provided the impetus for the development of CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia
As part of this project, we developed:
A comprehensive list of species occurring in the Harden Murrumburrah region over the last 150 years with habitat notes,
A list of species suitable for revegetation projects with associated habit and cultivation notes,
A website linking this list with environmental data, accessible to the general public and other Landcare groups
A methodology and protocol for devising the indigenous flora of a heavily cleared region that can be transferred to other sites
Remnant Vegetation Management Plan for Harden
In 1996, HMLG led work to characterise different remnant vegetation classes within the Harden Shire. This information was used to prepare an updatable Vegetation Management Plan identifying areas of outstanding value for preservation, areas in need of remediation work and those suitable for planting as wildlife corridors.
The vegetation plan, along with plans for groundwater, salinity, acid soils, land use, erosion and stream bank planning, were designed for use by community groups, and local and state government departments operating in the Harden Shire. For this reason, HMLG sought to involve the whole Shire community in its development.
In addition to the final Plan, the following baseline information to inform future regeneration efforts were also obtained:
An accurate measurement of medium to dense remnant vegetation communities: 53 km2 or 2.83% of the Shire;
Identification of areas to be fenced off for regeneration of pasture understorey; and
An accurate measurement of waterlogged areas in the Shire: 18.1 km2 or 0.97% of Shire; to be used as a basis for identifying saline or potentially saline sites.
The many projects under this banner have been generously supported by Environment Australia’s, Envirofund, 20 Million trees, Riverina Local Land Services and National Landcare Project in collaboration with the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and Greening Australia