The Linkages project began in 2003 to biolink the Snowy River and the Yalmy State Forest. It is a far reaching project to encourage sustainablity and biodiversity in Jarrahmond.
Jarrahmond encompasses an area of 4,800 hectares with the Snowy River and the Yalmy State Forest as its boundaries. The landcare group’s “Linkages” project aims to “Biolink the Snowy River to the Yalmy State Forest”. This project developed on the back of earlier projects including the “Gunns Creek Restoration project” and various small grants received for planting native vegetation on farms. Funding requirements altered over time and wider catchment projects gained greater funding support … and so the "Linkages Project" was developed. To mid 2016 we have successfully gained 10 grants under the “linkages” umbrella. The Australian Government's Envirofund has been a major sponsor.
The first grant in the Linkages project included trees and fencing assistance and also an aerial photo shoot of the Jarrahmond district. 35 aerial photos were orthorectified and mosaiced for the group. On the map that was created all tree planting projects are plotted for both the linkages and earlier projects. It is a satisfying achievement for the group. We have put up 38.825 kilometres of fencing and planted over 35,500 trees from 2003 to 2016. 23 landholders have received assistance since the program began. The grant itself has attracted $139,500 of assistance to mid 2016.
Farmers have planted trees for a number of reasons. These include: to provide shelter for stock, to help deal with erosion, to improve water quality, to deal with problems such as salinity and also to contribute to the amenity of the area. The idea of preserving the habitat for our abundant and colourful local flora and fauna is never far from our minds.
What does biolinking mean for us?
Biodiversity refers to Biological Diversity. It is important for a healthy environment to have clean air and water and a good variety of species. For us “biolinking” refers to linking existing natural areas with tree corridors to preserve our biodiversity. Tree plantings or corridors may link up with one another across and between farms, they may link up with roadside vegetation, with remnant plots of older trees, or they may stand on their own. They may link to wet areas or waterways. Some species can travel short distances from one plot to another or use paddock trees as stepping stones so a completed link is not always necessary. Species that will use the corridors include reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects, plants and birds. Private gardens too are an important habitat for species endemic to our area and form part of the linkage process.