Kowree Farm Tree Group Incorporated is an active group of like-minded farmers and conservationists who are committed to assisting with the re-vegetation and protection of native flora and fauna, whilst maintaining our roots in rural Australia.
Our vision is to reconnect native vegetation corridors on a landscape scale and protect them.
Purpose - from our initial base in the Edenhope area, we will expand to assist the community to re-vegetate and conserve existing native flora and fauna.
Our values are:
Brand - 'combining conservation with profitable farming'
The Kowree Farm Tree Group (KFTG) is an organisation that was founded in the late 1980's, based in the South-west Wimmera in Edenhope and has just recently become an incorporated association. For the past 28 years it has worked with farmers to protect and rehabilitate areas of native vegetation on farm land, focusing on the conservation of wetlands, grassy woodlands and creating links between remnant patches of native vegetation on a landscape scale.
The KFTG has maintained a membership of around twenty members. As its name suggests, the main focus of this group is farm trees. While it has dabbled in forestry and fodder shrubs, the main focus has been on-farm conservation. Its main activities relate to tree planting and the renovation of remnant vegetation, however political activism and lobbying are occasionally pursued.
The South-west Wimmera, home to the KFTG, has an abundance of native vegetation. In the Biodiversity White-paper the South-west Wimmera was identified as a “Flagship Area” and of critical importance for the establishment of biolink planting to link existing large patches of remnant vegetation. At settlement the dominant vegetation class in this area would have been grassy woodland containing numerous wetlands. Now these vegetation classes are either highly depleted or threatened. It is in these areas that the KFTG has focused most of its activity. The KFTG has worked with over 100 local farmers to preserve well in excess of 1000ha of remnants in these land classes. In order to carry out this activity the tree group has acquired funds from a range of government and corporate sources. Numerous successful partnerships have been established to fund and execute these projects. All work done with farmers has had included a significant contribution by the land-owner to the activity on their land.
The Kowree Farm Tree Group's largest project to date was the Kowree Biolink which created conservation corridors across a 70 by 13km area between the Little Desert and the Glenelg River. This project ran between 1999 and 2002 and worked with 70 farmers to renovate and link wetlands and other patches of remnant vegetation totaling 900ha across 1000 sq km. Since the Kowree Biolink, the tree group has concentrated on the conservation of the last 2% of Bulokes which remain in the south west Wimmera. In pursuit of this aim the group has been involved in a diverse range of activities.
Currently, KFTG Inc is quite active. It has one part-time employee, has an office and a range of successful partnerships with other Landcare groups, government agencies, local schools, non-government organisations, a corporation and a university. For each of the past three years it has revegetated about 100ha, manages 750ha of privately owned conservation reserve and has promoted sustainable NRM practices across the region. Currently the KFTG is: