Members of the FOMS Executive have been meeting regularly with the water resource personnel of the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board and with Sam Stuart, Head Ranger with the Arabana Ranger team. Senior Water Resource Officer with the Board, Aaron Smith, has recently advised that the Board has secured substantial funding through the Commonwealth’s Lake Eyre Basin Program for conservation works within the SA portion of the Basin. The Board intends to allocate $140,000 of this to mound springs conservation.
This is a major opportunity to protect priority springs or groups of springs in Far North SA, the majority of which are on pastoral leasehold land and are subject to impacts from cattle and other introduced animals such as horses and donkeys. In early October, FOMS representatives met with Arid Lands Board personnel and Arabana Head Ranger Sam Stuart to discuss priorities and logistics for a protection program.
At this stage the intention is to implement protection works during 2023. It seems most likely that this will mainlyinvolve fencing of priority springs to exclude cattle and / or other introduced animals. A critical aspect of this will be collaboration with pastoral lessees and some discussions are already under way in relation to protection of Reedy Springs and possibly Public House Springs on Murnpeowie Station. Fencing of springs on Finniss Springs – managed by the Arabana – is also under discussion.
FOMS will continue to be involved in this important planning and consultation phase.