- Saturday 03 July 2010
Cooroy local Jim Vale is the first landowner in the Region’s north to sign up for council’s Voluntary Conservation Agreement program, placing over 2.8 hectares of endangered bushland under a conservation covenant.
Community Conservation Partnerships teamleader Dave Burrows said Voluntary Conservation Agreements are conservation covenants that are placed on land to permanently protect its environmental values.
“A large proportion of the Coast’s endangered ecosystems, remnant vegetation and wildlife corridors are in the possession of private property owners,” Mr Burrows said.
“By working with and supporting these landholders, together we can rebuild areas that have been damaged by development and protect the Region’s biodiversity now and into the future.
“The riparian rainforest that Mr Vale has chosen to protect is an endangered ecosystem, home to a high diversity of plant species and a range of fauna species, including one of the Coast’s most rare frog species.”
Jim Vale, who has lived on the property for the last 22 year’s said he approached council because he wanted to permanently protect the bushland on his property, and heard that Council also offered a range of incentives to help him manage the land.
" I purchased this property 22 years ago with the intention of preserving the bush on it, however it's only now that council has commenced offering Voluntary Conservation agreements to landowners in this area (ex Noosa Shire) that I am able to proceed with protecting it for all time,” Mr Vale said.
“I was struggling with controlling the lantana and camphor laurel along the creek and council are able to provide ongoing assistance with eradicating weeds and encouraging native vegetation—it’s certainly great to have some support.
Local councillor Lew Brennan said that this partnership is just one of the projects funded by the environment levy.
“What’s great about this program is that by securing these natural areas into the future, we’re not only protecting the environment, we’re also protecting our tourism industry,” Cr Brennan said.
“It makes solid business sense to protect the green, vibrant landscapes that bring visitors in their droves each year.”
Council offers a range of annual incentives to help Voluntary Conservation Agreement landholders achieve the goals set out in their management plans.
To date, landholders across the Coast have committed over 250 hectares of land to Voluntary Conservation Agreements since 2002.
Landholders who are interested in finding out more about conservation agreements should contact one of council’s conservation partnership officers on 5475 7272 or visit Council website.