Mount Lofty Initiative - Bush Bids
Biodiversity Hotspots Programme brochure
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
About the brochure
The eastern slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges support the largest remnants of woodland vegetation communities in South Australia and are a vital refuge for many species of birds.
As with much of South Australia's south-east, the My Lofty Ranges have been extensively cleared for grazing and dryland agriculture. Now only about 13% of the native vegetation remains, the majority of which is on private land with no formal protection status.
As a result many plant and animal species have become locally extinct, and many more are threatened or declining. The remaining patches of native grassland and grassy woodlands are a centre for declining woodland birds, such as the endangered Southern Emu-wren and the South Australian subspecies of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo.
The Mount Lofty Initiative has been delivered through Bush Bids. This competitive auction based approach aimed to maintain and enhance the biodiversity values of the area by establishing long-term protection and adaptive conservation management through property based conservation agreements with private landholders.
The Australian Government, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board and Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board recognise the role that landholders play in protecting and improving the quality and quantity of native vegetation in the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.
Bush Bids supported landholders to set their own price for the management services they are prepared to undertake to improve their native vegetation. This price formed the basis of their bid, and was compared against bids from all other participating landholders. Successful bids were those that offered the best value for money.
Bush Bids was designed to enable:
- landholders to determine the suite of management services they wish to offer, and bid for costs associated with providing those services
- landholders to derive an income stream from managing native vegetation for conservation
- maintenance of the quality and extent of native vegetation to improve and contribute to the health of the whole catchment
- public funds to be spent on achieving the highest biodiversity gain per unit cost.