Property planning is an important process that provides the framework for the sustainable use of a property’s resources. Planning can occur on many levels, from an individual farm to multi-farm vegetation plans that link management efforts across fences to provide a landscape approach to natural resource management. Property plans at all scales provide a strong foundation for seeking ongoing funding for management actions.
The first step in creating a property plan is for land managers to identify their local goals and consider how these will be affected by personal, physical and financial factors. This will enable them to create a unique management strategy that will achieve sustainable production, financial security, personal satisfaction and conservation outcomes.
A good planning process for a farm will:
- consider how the property’s natural features fit in with the farming operation;
- set short- and long-term goals for managing the physical elements of the farm;
- integrate management of native vegetation into regular activities and long-term goals to improve productivity and conserve nature;
- take a broad perspective on farm management and how this can contribute to connectivity;
- consider future improvements to the property; and
- establish processes for monitoring changes in productivity and native vegetation health.
Property planning is an important tool for all land managers, whether they are responsible for a farm, a roadside corridor, or a public reserve. Management plans are developed for public reserves such as national parks and state forests, and GER strongly supports the development of planning tools such as Aboriginal Property Management Plans by Aboriginal landowners and managers. Many forms of private land conservation, such as conservation covenants, require detailed plans of management to be developed. The Nature Conservation Trust, a GER partner, assists landholders with preparing these plans for covenanted properties.
Where to get further advice
Additional information about property planning in a particular area can be obtained from the relevant regional natural resource management authority or State Department of Agriculture. Greening Australia’s website also has a guide to whole property planning.