Mitchell River Chairman, Ian Adcock, was pleased to announce the successful funding, noting that "... these projects are sorely needed to protect the biodiversity and sustainable primary production in our catchment." The funding is sourced through the National Landcare Program investment by the Australian Government.
The White-bellied Crimson Finch is listed as Endangered in Queensland, and some of its most important remnant habitat is in the Kowanyama region.
Project leader Pam Schultz says she is looking forward to the project. "This funding will add to the progress we're making through earlier projects funded through Cape York NRM's devolved grants program, and it also supports work we're doing through the Norman Wettenhall Foundation. It's very exciting to work with this strong support on an iconic species."
Key partners in the project will be the Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resources Management Office.
The Arriga Plains is a highly-productive region within the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area (MDIA). Issues with salinity and waterlogging have long been recognised as threats to the long-term profitability of the area, yet there is no publicly-available long-term data correlating water quality and soil type.
Project leader Brian Prove notes: "We're looking forward to collecting current data, combining with the historical records where we can find them, and be able to give growers a better picture of the situation. We're looking for key partnerships here: the key to making this project work is to earn the trust and cooperation of the growers. That's job number one."