More than half a million dollars will now be spent on protecting native bush in the Wheatbelt. Natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM has been given the money from the Australian government’s Caring for our Country program. The project focuses on expanding the area of remnant vegetation under protection through the National Reserve System. The National Reserve System is a network of parks and reserves across Australia that protects important native animals and plant life. Less than five per cent of the Wheatbelt is already protected under the scheme, including Yorkrakine Rock north of Tammin, Lake Magenta near Lake Grace and Mt Matilda at Wongan Hills. Wheatbelt NRM’s project manager of biodiversity Rebecca Palumbo said most of that five per cent was on public property. “Our focus will now be on encouraging private landholders to embrace conservation covenants,” Rebecca Palumbo said. “There’s huge patches of remnant vegetation located on farms that we want conserved. “Protecting your bush land through a conservation covenant also creates a legacy for the next generation. “In the last year we’ve had eight landholders sign up for conservation covenants totalling more than 4500 hectares. Rebecca Palumbo said with this extra funding another 1000 hectares would be protected. A conservation covenant is a voluntary agreement, which is permanently registered on the land title but does not affect ownership of the land. Rebecca Palumbo said land owners who committed to a conservation covenant could also be eligible for funding to help protect the area. For more information contact Rebecca Palumbo from Wheatbelt NRM on 9690 2250.