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Protecting the peatlands the focus of workshop

Protecting the upper Murray’s fragile montane peatlands is the focus of a workshop being held in Tumbarumba later this month.

Montane peatlands are mountain marshes rich in organic matter, and they are an endangered ecological community in NSW, protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Most peatlands in the upper Murray are in parks, reserves and forests, but their extent on private land is largely unknown.

One of the workshop organisers, Julia McCourt, at Murray Local Land Services, said the event would be a chance for interested land managers and the general public to learn how they can help to restore and protect the peatlands.

“Peatlands provide habitat for many plants and animals, including some threatened species,” she said.

“They intercept rainfall and groundwater, trap sediment and store carbon, releasing high-quality flows to rivers. They are fragile by nature, especially threatened by trampling, wallowing and overgrazing by pest animals and domestic livestock, and incision by vehicles.”

Ms McCourt said Murray Local Land Services had recently developed a spatial action plan to guide investment in peatland restoration and protection into the future.

The workshop has been put together in conjunction with the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group, and will include presentations from renowned specialists from La Trobe University’s Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution.

It has been made possible through funding from the Australian Government.

It will be held on Thursday 25 May from 10 am to 2 pm at the Tumbarumba Motel, and includes morning tea on arrival and light lunch. RSVP for catering purposes to julia.mccourt@lls.nsw.gov.au or on 02 6051 2213.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Matt Lane, Communications, 02 6051 2252, 0427 459 755.