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Pine Protection Program

The funding is part of a project to protect 1500 hectares of Sandhill Pine Woodland communities from damage caused by stock and feral herbivores.

It will also target pest animal control over 10,000 hectares surrounding the pine woodlands.

Acting Manager Land Services, Leigh Pyke said expressions of interest would be open until 28 March for landholders in the Lower Murray Darling catchment area, where Sandhill Pine communities are endangered.

 "Sandhill Pine Woodlands are quite degraded in this south-western part of NSW and have been listed as endangered since 2008," Mr Pyke said.

"Funding is available to landholders who are willing to help protect and preserve the woodlands."

Sandhill Pine Woodland communities are found throughout the Murray Darling Depression and NSW South West Slopes bioregions, where the timber was popular for building and fencing.

Recent research across the region indicated that only three out of 50 Sandhill Pine sites showed any sign of successful regeneration.

"Only between 25 and 60 percent of the original distribution of Sandhill Pine Woodland remains in this region and most of this is in very poor condition," Mr Pyke said.

"A large proportion of the remainder of this community is threatened by a lack of regeneration due to grazing, soil erosion and weed invasion".

"Grazing by domestic livestock and feral herbivores - chiefly rabbits and goats – is the main focus of this fencing project. If we can keep these animals out we will give the woodlands a chance to regenerate."

Funding for fencing is available to landholders with existing stands of Sandhill Pine Woodlands on their properties who are willing to protect the pine communities and can provide the labour to erect the fencing and conduct pest animal control.

This is the first funding program for Western Local Land Services and highlights the role the organisation will play in supporting healthy environments and productive agricultural businesses.

To register an expression of interest for the funding, phone Land Services Officer Tanya Cooper at the Buronga office of Local Land Services Western on 03 5021 9460 by 28 March. Applications close on Friday 4 April.

This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.

Media contact: Maree Barnes (0427 256814) (02 6841 2749)