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Business and RD&E plan to determine the value proposition for greater use of fire in the grazing lands of northern Australia
Maintaining pasture is the basis of production and profitability in the northern grazing industry. But pastures can be lost to wildfire, woody thickening, or undesirable combinations of grazing and burning causing degradation. Conversely, judicious use of fire can help to prevent wildfire spread, improve pasture condition and control woody thickening. Consultation with pastoralists and graziers indicated that many would like to burn more – or for different purposes – or to have their properties burnt-out less often. Given the fire-prone landscape, fire is an issue confronting all managers of northern grazing lands.
To decide the extent to which fire should be included or excluded, pastoralists and graziers need to consider fire effectiveness, ancillary impacts, and the relative costs and benefits compared to other options. Current impediments relate to uncertainty on fire use, post-fire conditions, ancillary impacts, and public perceptions. An RD&E program was prepared to better equip pastoralists and graziers with the knowledge and skills to incorporate fire into sustainable property management, if desired. The plan is based on information obtained from wide consultation with pastoralists, extension providers and researchers and a review of published and unpublished literature. It provides a vision for RD&E, translated into strategic objectives, priority program outcomes, project suggestions and criteria for evaluating project proposals. The plan is divided into two themes: Theme 1 focusing on consolidating and packaging existing fire management knowledge and identifying knowledge gaps; Theme 2 focusing on building fire management capacity through action research and strengthening extension networks and infrastructure. A governance structure is proposed that will ensure collaboration between all stakeholders across the region to provide a strategic approach to fire management RD&E, with Monitoring, Evaluation, Improvement and Review embedded into program operation and prioritisation.
This page was last updated on 24/07/2017
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