What is Rangelands Monitoring
Rangelands monitoring is the process of periodically recording the condition of the natural resource including vegetation, water, and soil. Over time, change in the pasture composition and consequently general land condition can be assessed. This information can assist land management decisions to ensure sustainability of the pastoral enterprise without any long term deterioration in pastoral land condition.
The monitoring program in the NT was implemented in 1993 with the introduction of the Pastoral Land Act and through recommendations from the Pastoral Land Board. The key elements of the Pastoral Land Monitoring Program include:
- To provide for the monitoring of pastoral land so as to detect and assess any change in its condition
- To gain an understanding of landscape processes and the impact the Pastoral industry has on the land resources.
- Periodic documentation and recording using photography, data on plant composition, species present, domestic stocking rates, current and historical total grazing pressure (including feral/native herbivores), rainfall, seasonal conditions and pasture conditions;
- Interpretation of reasons for change such as seasonal conditions, fire, grazing management, stock numbers, presence of feral animals;
- Consideration of paddock management strategies used in the past and adjustment of management as required; and
- using remote sensing techniques to assess broadscale and site specific change.
The current guidelines outline changes to the procedures for assessing and approving clearing applications on pastoral land. This includes a requirement for preparation of a property management plan for land clearing development, public notification processes inviting submissions on pastoral land clearing applications and a register of determinations to be available for public viewing.