Upper Murray Fire Recovery

A resurgence in Landcare Groups for the Upper Murray

Upper Murray Fire Recovery

A resurgence in Landcare Groups for the Upper Murray

Collaborations -


The issue

Three Years on and, bush fire recovery has been on the forefront of people’s minds since the Upper Murray was severely impacted by fires in January 2020. Many - endangered and threatened animal species, and township communities were impacted. Not long after the fires, many communities faced another environmental disaster with multiple flooding events. These events impacted community resilience and mental health and people turned to Landcare to help.

People in the affected communities have reported psychological distress and the need for community-based initiatives, family and most importantly a need to help heal the land and feel like they had some control over how things are going, especially in their immediate environment around them.

The solution

Holbrook Landcare took a major lead by teaming up with Murrumbidgee Landcare and leading the Murray-Riverina Ecological Bushfire Recovery Strategy and leveraging funding through various sources to employ a fire recovery project officer within the Upper Murray. This enabled increased on-ground capacity to engage with landholders, go out and visit and support them in their recovery process...

The program delivered over 25000 seedlings, 18km of fencing and 200ha of environmental supporting the Upper Murray community. There were 17 community events attended by over 200 people.

One such event that was very well received was a “Fire Preparedness workshop” involving Riverina Highlands RFS, NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust and First Nations representatives from Ngarigo Community and wider community, all engaged in conversation about being fire prepared and using cultural burn practices to assist in fire preparedness.

The impact

A new Landcare resurgence in the Upper Murray contributing considerably to social resilience and helping communities address priorities for activities and recovery. The groups vary in their focus areas. One group is focused on improving the health and productivity of their land whilst others focused on revegetation, biodiversity, and pest management.

Moreover, some participants identified their motivation for involvement in Landcare groups as a desire to learn more, to be exposed to new ideas, and to help satisfy their curiosity about the natural environment and habitats in their area.

Key facts

  • The importance of the contribution of local Landcare Groups to environmental and biodiversity recovery after bushfires.
  • Involvement in environmental recovery activities affects group members’ well-being and social resilience.

Project Partners