This year marks 30 years since the historic alliance between the Australian Government, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the National Farmers Federation to launch the Landcare movement.
Local NSW groups Holbrook and West Hume Landcare also celebrate their 30 year anniversary this year reflecting on their significant achievements.
Recent analysis of LANDSAT satellite data in the slopes region of the NSW Murray indicate that 87 per cent of the revegetation and native vegetation protection sites established through funding from Landcare and agencies from the 1990s to 2007 show positive changes in vegetation cover in this period.
Of the other 13 per cent, some of them are too young to show up yet, so we are likely to see further improvements.
That shows that the investment by the public in fencing and planting, all at a shared cost with landholders, is now having an impact we can see from space.
Some areas in the Holbrook region have seen vegetation cover increase by more than 10 per cent over this time, and the investments helped maintain positive vegetation cover change during the long millennium drought.
The job of maintaining and improving the vegetation cover in our landscape will never be over.
As farming techniques and innovations spread, there are new pressures on the remaining vegetation and planting, as well as new opportunities.
There are also community pressures on farmers to be trusted stewards of the land and their livestock.
As the climate changes, vegetation in the landscape will continue to be important for livestock shade and shelter and to maintain the biodiversity that supports our ecosystem - our pollinators, pest control, processing nutrients for our crops and pastures and, of course, the wonderful natural environment that we enjoy.
We also need to maintain the productive capacity of the land to meet growing needs for food and fibre and achieve the $100 billion production value targets set by industry, which means good agricultural research and extension for crop, livestock and pasture systems.
With privatisation and declining government services, this is a role increasingly being led by Landcare and producer groups with support from programs such as the National Landcare Program.
It's an exciting time to be in agriculture and natural resource management, even with the drought and climate challenges, so let's celebrate the power of communities working for a sustainable future - the work of Landcare.
Kylie Durant, Holbrook Landcare Network