Ian Potter Foundation increases contribution to Tasmanian Midlands

The Ian Potter Foundation has increased its contribution to the Tasmanian Midlands Restoration Program to make it the biggest ever in the state.

A delegation from The Ian Potter Foundation, including the widow of Sir Ian Potter, Lady Potter AC, and the Chairman, Mr Charles Goode AC, attended our field day in Tasmania to see first hand how the contribution of The Ian Potter Foundation has made the large scale Midlands Restoration Program viable.

The field day held at Ross in the Tasmanian Midlands was also the venue to announce a $550,000 extension to The Ian Potter Foundation support for the Midlands Restoration Program.

Lady Potter in the Tasmanian Midlands Lady Potter in the Tasmanian Midlands

The extra funds bring the total from The Ian Potter Foundation to $1m, making it the largest single private contribution to landscape restoration in Tasmanian history.

The Midlands Restoration Program in the Ross region is also the biggest river landscape restoration project underway in Australia.

It’s happening on a truly huge scale with over 120,000 trees being planted. We couldn’t have attempted it without the enthusiastic cooperation of local landowners like Julian von Bibra, Henry and Simon Foster and Roderic O’Connor.

The ongoing support of The Ian Potter Foundation and a $2.2m grant from the Federal Government has meant that the project is forging ahead, restoring threatened grassy woodlands and employing Tasmanians, many ex forestry workers.

It was fantastic that Lady Potter and the other members of Ian Potter Foundation’s Board of Governors could visit Ross and see first hand how the restoration of the grassy woodlands will eventually reconnect the Eastern and Great Western Tiers.

Restoring and reconnecting threatened remnant landscapes over a large scale is really important as the climate changes, but actually getting started is key. To restore the endangered grassy woodlands in the Midlands will take in the order of twenty five years, and now we are off to a great start.

The project is not just a matter of planting trees. It’s a combined effort of landowners, scientists and land managers to produce a plant community that will allow fauna to migrate from one range of mountains to the other.

Tasmanian Midlands Restoration Program field day Tasmanian Midlands Restoration Program field day

Governor of The Ian Potter Foundation, Professor Thomas Healy added that a key priority of The Ian Potter Foundation’s Environment & Conservation funding program is  supporting landscape-scale programs that work to protect areas of high conservation value.

“This project is an excellent example of this approach and shows the benefits of stakeholders working together towards shared goals. We are confident this project will reap significant rewards for generations to come,” Professor Healy concluded.

We’d also like to thank Tasmanian businesses, including Pennicott Wilderness JourneysTarga Australia and Stornoway who have supported our restoration work over the past five years by collectively contributing over $370,000. The John Roberts Charitable Trust is also contributing $150,000 over three years toward the educational component of the Midlands Restoration Program. The Australian Research Council has also invested over $1m in cutting edge science and innovation through two University of Tasmania research projects.

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Key facts about the Midlands Restoration Program:

  • 1,000ha of midlands biodiversity protected and enhanced in areas with a high co-incidence of natural values: ‘focal landscapes’, high connectivity value, Midlands Conservation Action Plan.
  • Restored remnants of a size 20 to 100ha where greatest benefit can be obtained through buffering and connecting (based on the minimum requirements for the home range of a suite of woodland birds, and vulnerable marsupials and resilience of habitat to climate change).
  • 470ha of strategically located biodiverse plantings of local native species established to buffer and connect high value native vegetation remnants raising the total area of a remnant or cluster of remnants to approximately 100ha.
  • 530ha of degraded high conservation value native vegetation protected and enhanced by patch-scale restoration to provide:- nodes of regeneration of eucalypt dominants and understorey species in woodlands;
    – nodes of regenerating inter-tussock herbs and matted-shrubs in poor quality grasslands.
  • Management agreements with landholders to protect biodiverse plantings and restored remnants (including currently healthy unprotected remnants) and manage threatening processes.
  • A property scale business model for biodiversity and carbon on private land by Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) and extension through the TFGA and NRM North’s landholder network.
  • Sequestration of 16,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 25 yrs.
  • Progress towards the Conservation Action Plan (CAP) vision “to achieve enduring landscape scale conservation in the Tasmanian Midlands.”