“Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss.”
David Bolling, How to Save a River: Handbook for Citizen Action
The Yass River is valued by the many people who live by it, go fishing along it, who use its water, and sit on its banks to enjoy the birds and watch the river flow past. Over the last decade, a lot of work has been done by the Yass community to restore and rehabilitate parts of the river that have become degraded as a result of the negative impacts of vegetation loss and flow regulation. There is still more to be done, and Rivers of Carbon: Yass River Linkages is a new project that will support and extend the efforts of the Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups and others, who are committed to bringing the Yass River ‘back to life’.
The people in the Yass Catchment are heavily reliant on the Yass River and its tributaries as their primary water source. Gully erosion and salinity are key challenges, along with the fragmentation of native vegetation. Rehabilitation works have been undertaken, and while progress is being made, more work is needed to link these sites to each other, as well as to patches of remnant vegetation.
Yass River Linkages is part of the broader Rivers of Carbon: Southern Riparian Linkages project that is working on a number of streams in the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Catchments to restore riverbanks, provide habitat for plants and animals, and encourage landholders to ‘farm carbon’ by planting trees.
The Yass River Linkages project offers incentives to landholders for fencing, tube stock, direct seeding and alternative water for stock access. Each site will be assessed on a case by case basis through an on-site visit by project staff, and actions tailored to the restoration needs of the site, farm business and landholder vision. Ongoing advice and support will be provided by the project team, coordinated by Lori Gould from Greening Australia.
We integrate our work in Yass with the other projects that make up the Rivers of Carbon initiative. One of these is the Ngunnawal River Connections, where we worked with local indigenous men, Wally and Tyronne Bell to share their stories about the Yass River. You can explore the videos we have made exploring the Indigenous connection to the Yass River here.
You can learn more about this project, and others like it, as well as stay up to date with the latest news on the Rivers of Carbon website.
You can get in touch with our on-ground project coordinator: Haydn Burgess – firstname.lastname@example.org – 0439 030 059
Yass River linkages is funded by the New South Wales Environmental Trust and managed through partnership between the Australian River Restoration Centre, Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups and Greening Australia.