What We Do
The Clarence Environment Centre (CEC) helps private landowners, local residents, council and government agencies to improve, protect and maintain the natural resources, wildlife habitats and unique biodiversity of the beautiful Clarence Valley for future generations.
Land for Wildlife Program
Land for Wildlife is a national program managed by the Hunter-based Community Environment Network who maintain a statewide property register and employ us as the Regional Provider for the Clarence Valley. Our role is to implement, coordinate and manage the program where we provide trained assessors to perform the on-ground property checks, surveys, reports and final registration application packages.
As of 2022, we have 150 Land for Wildlife members in the Clarence Valley, all who help create and protect valuable wildlife habitats totalling over 7,300 hectares of land.
Our fully qualified bush regeneration team work around the Clarence Valley clearing weeds on private, public and conservation agreement lands. Our key targets is the easily recognised Lantana, however we also combat the Camphor Laurel tree, Cats Claw vine and some other invasive perennial weeds that choke and destroy our bush.
Our bush regeneration contractors are able to do this important work with funding from various Government departments, Local Land Services, WWF, BCT and others.
Water Quality Monitoring
The CEC keeps watch on what is happening with our rivers and streams. We report any breaches and other activities, such as erosion by cattle, clearing too close to creeks, logging within exclusion zones, and vehicle crossings without mitigation controls that inhibit healthy riparian growth and threaten life-cycles of aquatic biota.
You can learn more about water theft and pollution here.
The CEC records and compiles comprehensive flora surveys using experienced ecologists on private, public and crown land in the Clarence Valley. We have completed a number of surveys for National Parks nature reserves as well as official surveys to help with prospective private Conservation Agreements, Plans of Management, and travelling stock reserves for Local Land Services.
Do you want to know more about the flora on your property? Join the national Land for Wildlife program and we will survey your land and provide a comprehensive list of flora free of charge.
The CEC closely monitors the outcomes for lodged Development Applications, Species Impact Statements, Environmental Impact Assessments, and reports attached to all contentious developments. We then study, record and write submissions ensuring all requirements are adhered to and consent conditions are fulfilled.
We also act on behalf of community members and contractors’ employees who wish to remain anonymous and report any breaches to the relevant authorities.
The CEC is often involved in the surveying of vulnerable and endangered fauna in the Clarence Valley. In the past our members been invited by National Parks and associated fauna ecologists to join in interesting surveys for the Rufous bettong, Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, Eastern Quoll, and Giant Dragonfly to name a few.
We regularly undertake motion sensor camera imaging and mapping and are currently surveying microbats by echo-location for the Saving our Species program.
In 2021 the CEC funded a 6-day survey by a koala detector dog which proved far more positive than expected.
Threatened Species Nomination and Monitoring
Our members have been regularly monitoring a sub-species of endangered Grevillea beadleana, discovered in the early 2020s comprising some 15 plants. In following years many of these were destroyed by fire, and CEC’s watchdogs have recorded the species decline to just 2 mature specimens and 3 remaining juveniles. In late 2021 we persuaded the Sydney Botanic Gardens Herbarium staff to conduct a rescue mission to collect seeds and cuttings as an insurance against the species’ imminent extinction.
Lindernia alsinoides, a pretty little native violet thought to be extinct in NSW, was found growing in a swampland previously grazed by cattle. It was quickly nominated for an Endangered listing, and a monitoring program set up to watch over it. With good seasonal conditions, a third mature specimen and around a dozen seedlings was added to the population.
Aboriginal Cave Discovery & Registration
Rocky outcrops are priority areas for inspection during flora surveys and occasionally lead to discovery of aboriginal artefacts and cave art. Any finds are recorded and reported to the National Parks’ heritage unit.
Later involvement is restricted to acting as guides. However, some of our discoveries have led to large portions of land being purchased and transferred to the National Park Estate.
Koala recording and monitoring
Working with WIRES and private residents to report all koala sightings to the CEC, Koala locations of all rescued and reported koalas since 2006, (or earlier) where traceable and were lodged with the NPWS Wildlife Atlas (lately OEH Bionet). These records were used extensively by ecologists in surveys for the Clarence Valley Areas of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS, 2018), as a part of the NSW government’s Save our Species Iconic Koala funding roll-out.
In 2021 the CEC funded a 6-day survey by a koala detector dog to assess post-bushfire persistence, or otherwise, of a koala population around Shannondale, Chambigne NR area and Council conservation lands associated with the dam which proved far more positive than expected. In response, the OEH have committed to run a further survey to better understand how a koala population progresses when left alone in good habitat.