Great Eastern Ranges Initiative

Stepping Stones to conservation in the Hunter Valley

The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) is a ground-breaking landscape-scale conservation corridor that stretches from the Grampians in Victoria to far north Queensland.

The Initiative brings together people and organisations, focusing efforts to establish a conservation corridor along the mountainous regions of eastern Australia.

Facilitator for the Hunter Valley Great Eastern Ranges Initiative, Gabe Anderson, is hosted within the University’s Tom Farrell Institute several days a week.

“The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative is a strategic response to mitigate the potential impacts of climate change, invasive species, land clearing and other environmental stresses in areas rich in biodiversity,” he says.

The Hunter Valley has been identified as a key gap in the ranges which is why the GER is working with landholders, community, industry and government to connect and enhance the landscape. The partnership is working in key strategic locations including the Upper Hunter, Merriwa Plateau and Lower Hunter Link.

One of the areas of collaboration for the Tom Farrell Institute and the GER is the Stepping Stones Project, which promotes connectivity conservation and enrols local landholders with the key message that wherever you are, you can contribute to biodiversity connectivity by making your place a ‘Stepping Stone’.

The Stepping Stones project is a joint initiative of members of the GER Hunter Valley Partnership: OzGREEN, Muswellbrook Council, University of Newcastle Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment and Conservation Volunteers Australia with support from Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

The project will increase ecosystem resilience to climate change and development threats by strengthening connections between key habitat patches in the Merriwa Plateau, and the Upper and Lower Hunter.

The Stepping Stones Project in the Hunter Valley Great Eastern Ranges Initiative is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund.

For information about opportunities to be involved, contact Hunter Facilitator Gabe Anderson on ganderson@ozgreen.org.au or 02 4032 6443.

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