Blinman Parachilna Pest Plant Control Group
|Nominee||Blinman Parachilna Pest Plant Control Group|
|Award Ceremony||2010 National Landcare Awards|
|Category||Landcare Community Group Award|
Working with volunteer groups within the local community and outside the region, the Blinman Parachilna Pest Plant Control Group has set the benchmark for community managed natural resource management projects through their work managing the invasive weed species Oleanders and Opuntia.
The Blinman Parachilna Pest Plant Control Group (BPPPCG) has been nominated for a National Landcare Award for its work in raising the profile of Oleanders and Opuntia as invasive weeds. These weeds are threatening the biodiversity, productivity and aesthetic values that underpin sustainable land use in the Flinders Ranges.
In 2004, a small group of pastoralists from the tiny communities of Blinman and Parachilna formed a bushcare group in response to a dramatic increase in the distribution and density of Opuntia across the district. The group recognised the need for decisive and strategic intervention and applied for a grant through the North Flinders Soil Conservation Board. With the grant funding the group purchased spray equipment, herbicide, GPS’s, delivered GPS training, and hosted a strategic planning workshop.
The next step was to develop and implement a pest plant control project group and funding for this project came from the Rangelands INRM investment strategy. Since 2005 the BPPPCG has received over $450,000 in funding and has independently managed and delivered a program of extensive on-ground works, support for volunteers, support for scientific research and extension activities.
The group’s major project site covers 400km² and is located in sparsely populated rangeland country that includes some of the most rugged mountainous terrain in South Australia. Adopting a strategy of containment and removal of outliers to core populations, the group has concentrated its on-ground works in areas of high conservation value and riparian areas. More than 100,000 Opuntia plants have been destroyed with 70 per cent of the project area inspected.
The BPPPCG has successfully co-opted a number of volunteer groups to assist with on-ground works in remote, inhospitable terrain and they have provided induction and training, accommodation and contributed to travel costs. Volunteers are assisting with follow-up activities and have also helped to remove Oleanders from a 7km section of Parachilna Gorge.
The actions of the BPPPCG have had enormous impact on reducing the spread of the invasive weeds Oleanders and Opuntia and the project is now recognised as a benchmark in community managed and delivered natural resource management.
The Blinman Parachilna Pest Plant Control Group project is one of 88 finalists in the National Landcare Awards to be announced in Canberra on 24 June 2010. Commencing in 1991, the Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and groups that make a valuable contribution to the land and coast where they live and work.