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Day at reserve highlights values

A recent field day at Rosewood, near Tumbarumba, provided an active demonstration of the intrinsic and ongoing value of travelling stock reserves (TSRs) to people and the environment.

More than 50 people, including staff and students from Tumbarumba High School, attended the day at Webbers TSR to learn about the various roles TSRs play in stock movements, habitat protection, cultural awareness and recreation.

The day was a collaboration between Murray Local Land Services, Holbrook Landcare Network and Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre.

TSR Ranger with Murray Local Land Services, Phill Falcke, said the event included a cultural heritage walk with local historian John Murphy, who showed the visitors how the Aboriginal people of the area lived using the food and resources available in the bush.

“In the past, first nation peoples established and maintained pathways in the area that were essential for economic, social and spiritual life, and were often used for moving between camps,” he said.

“Many of these were considered by early British colonists as ideal stock reserves, and they now form part of the TSR network that exists today.”

The event also included a ‘walk and talk’ with local ecologist Ian Davidson, who pointed out indigenous plants and wildlife and spoke about the importance of the habitat corridors formed by the TSR network that make it easier for animals, plants and insects to move across the landscape.

Rosewood identity Albert Jones spoke about the historic role Webbers reserve played in droving and stock movement.

The day concluded with a show by upper Murray stockman, Tim O’Brien of Boggy Creek Shows, who demonstrated the traditional horse and dog handling techniques of the early drovers who used the TSR network to move animals to sale.

Mr Falcke said TSRs were positioned on parcels of Crown land 8-12 km apart (about a day’s ride), forming a string of camp sites all the way from the grazing lands to market.

“Today TSRs still have a role as an alternative food resource for stock, but are also commonly used for recreational pursuits such as picnics, bushwalking, fishing and mountain bike riding,” he said.

“Thanks to the field day, a new generation is now aware of their value in the landscape.”

NSW travelling stock reserves are currently the subject of a comprehensive government review to determine which TSRs are still used or required for the original purpose they were set aside for and to determine if they are important for other reasons.

The public can contribute to the review through the LLS Open website.

Media inquiries: Matt Lane, Communications, 02 6051 2252, 0427 459 755.