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"Using Fire as a Tool for Managing Native Grasses: An Indigenous Perspective

This was a project partnership between the North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA) and Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups. Funding was obtained (commencing in 2013) under the Caring for our Country Sustainable Environment and Sustainable Agriculture stream.
The project examined the use of fire as a management tool and how it could be applied to achieving sustainable native pasture management in North East Victoria in partnership with Traditional Owners (TOs) to help incorporate an understanding of the traditional uses of fire (a form of Traditional Ecological Knowledge or TEK).
The project is structured around:
1. Two fire forums
2. Three demonstration trial plots/sites; and
3. Two associated field days.
The outcomes (of the demonstration trial plots) was measured using indicators of both biodiversity and productivity.
Project outcomes include:
• Increased awareness of the value  and benefits of native pastures and how management practices can either degrade or enhance native pastures;
• Increased understanding of how fire can be used to manage native pastures;
• Increased capacity and skills to sustainably manage native pastures; and
• Increased appreciation of and respect for Indigenous TEK.

Project films:

"Indigenous Fire Knowledge" Victorian Fire Awards (1 min 52 seconds)

 "Traditional Use of Fire in North East Victoria" (2 min 28 sec)

 "Considering Native Pastures" (11min 41 sec)

Project resources:

Project report compiled by Paul Foreman (Project Ecologist) in 2015 shows promising results for the burn trial sites.

Detailed plot assessments compiled by Paul Foreman listing all plant species (native and exotic) at each trial site - Jan & Nov 2014

Native Grass feed analysis of weeping grass (Microlaena stipoides) at trial sites

Soil Test analysis of plot sites

Victorian Landcare Magazine article "New Approaches to Sharing Ancient Fire Knowledge" - Autumn 2015

Native Grasses Field Days Flyer

The Field Day was held in January 2015 Flyer