Rivers of Carbon: Yass River Linkages

“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’.

  • Yass River Fish Bridge

    Yass River at Fish Bridge, Photo by Lori Gould

  • Yass River, Photo by Lori Gould

    Yass River, Photo by Lori Gould

  • Fishing on the Yass River in a stretch of water with plenty of habitat for fish and birds.  Photo by Peter Denison

    Fishing on the Yass River in a stretch of water with plenty of habitat for fish and birds. Photo by Peter Dickens

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.

  • This saline gully is the sort of area that Rivers of Carbon seeks to rehabilitate so that erosion is halted and water prevented from carrying salt into the Yass River. Photo by Lori Gould

    This saline gully is the sort of area that Rivers of Carbon seeks to rehabilitate so that erosion is halted and water prevented from carrying salt into the Yass River. Photo by Lori Gould

  • Forest Creek Gully

    Sheep walking up and down the side of gullies like this one continue to erode away the banks.  Rivers of Carbon works with landholders to fence out these areas and protect them from stock while they regenerate.  Once stable, stock can be released back into the gullies for short grazing spells.  Photo by Lori Gould

  • Craig Slattery (landholder) and Haydn Burgess (GA) chatting about their Rivers of Carbon Yass project (on the Yass River). This site was part of the Yass River Rehab project and was once wall to wall willows. Photo by Lori Gould

    Craig Slattery (landholder) and Haydn Burgess (GA) chatting about their Rivers of Carbon Yass project (on the Yass River). This site was part of the Yass River Rehab project and was once wall to wall willows. Photo by Lori Gould

  • Green Corp members out planting to combat salinity erosion and provide habitat for birds and wildlife. Photo by Lori Gould

    Green Corp members out planting to combat salinity erosion and provide habitat for birds and wildlife. Photo by Lori Gould

  • Green Corp members out planting to combat salinity, erosion, and provide habitat for birds and wildlife. Photo by Lori Gould

    Green Corp member planting trees. Photo by Lori Gould

The Yass River Linkages project offers incentives to landholders for fencing, tubestock, 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.

RoC Yass project area 2014

RoC Yass project area 2014

 

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Tyronne and Wally Bell with Adam Shipp sharing some of their stories about the Yass River which is in the background.

 

We integrate our work in Yass with the other projects that make up the Rivers of Carbon Initiative.  One of these is the Nguanawal River Connections, where we worked with local indigenous men, Wally and Tyronne Bell to share their stories about the Yass River.  Click on the image below to explore the videos we have made exploring indigenous connection to the Yass River.

 

Upcoming events:

We are delighted to be holding our ‘Feeling Fishy Field Day’ on the Yass River on the 29th of November.  Everyone is welcome and we would love to see you.  We will have a mix of scientists, landholders, traditional owners, angler club members and more – all of us sharing a desire to see the Yass River protected and restored.  To find out more about the Feeling Fishy Field day follow this link.

 

Our partners:

Yass River linkages is funded by the New South Wales Environmental Trust and managed through a partnership between the Australian River Restoration Centre, Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups and Greening Australia.

 

  • NSW Environment Trust Logo
  • ARRC logo
  • YAN logo
  • greening australia logo