Successful revegetation program completed in Dale River catchment
Released 25 Sep 2009
Working in partnership with local landowners to improve the health and environmental values of waterways as part of the Dale River Restoration project, the department led initiative has produced significant on-ground outcomes including the fencing of 35 km of waterways and the planting of 35,000 seedlings in riparian zones.
"The Dale River is a tributary to the Avon River and in contrast to much of the rest of the catchment is relatively fresh," Senior Natural Resource Management Officer for the Department of Water Prue Dufty said.
"Past clearing practices and stock grazing have, however, resulted in the loss of riparian vegetation and increased levels of salinity in the Dale and its tributaries."
Local landowner Justin Matthews took part in the program and is keen to restore the section of Mokine Brook that is a tributary of the Dale River that flows through his property.
Over the past few months Justin has erected approximately six kilometres of fencing and planted 5000 seedlings along the banks of the brook.
"Only 20 years ago there were water rats and we were catching several types of fish along this section of the river," Justin said.
"Planting trees and shrubs back along the river will reduce water logging and help stop the spread of salinity which has already formed large scald areas. We want to create a buffer along the river that leads to a nearby forest to bring back animals, such as woylies and kangaroos", he said.
Dufty said the south-west corner of Western Australia was recognised internationally as a bio-diverse hot spot and many of its areas were under threat, mostly from land clearing and increasing salinity.
"While the scope of work to improve the river health and water quality is immense, what we have achieved here at Dale River demonstrates that these small steps in restoration will make a difference in the long run," Prue said.
"The benefits of improved water quality will act as an incentive for landholders to continue this work, and encourage neighbours to follow suit when they see the benefits that increased biodiversity has on the landscape."
The Dale River Restoration Project is a Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management Incorporated project delivered by the Department of Water and funded with investment from the State and Australian Governments through the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441