We would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the Pollack and Koondrook-Perricoota Forest, the Barapa Barapa and Yorta Yorta people.
The Pollack Swamp is a 700ha flora and fauna nature reserve in the Gunbower-Koondrook-Perricoota Forest. Historically occupied by the Barapa Barapa people, the swamp is thought to have once been an ecologically rich area. Since the regulation of the Murray River, the frequency and duration of flooding within the Pollack has been dramatically reduced.
As a result, the area has seen a drastic decline in wildlife. A recently introduced environmental watering program has seen improvements to the area, with wildlife such as native fish and birds returning to the area to live and breed. A team including local environmental and wildlife specialists, Moama Local Aboriginal Land Council staff, local Landcare and community members have worked to improve its ecological condition.
The Pollack's environmental watering program was introduced using surrounding Bringan Trust channel infrastructure. This program is a collaboration between FCNSW, the NSW Office of Environment, the Bringan Irrigation Trust and the local community.
Under this scheme, flows are delivered via the pumping station on the Murray River and travel 10km through open channel to the Pollack. In working with landholders, some of the channel constraints have been removed, enabling up to 25ML/day water delivery.
The water delivery is much slower than a natural overbank event, with the last watering taking over 85 days to inundate 158ha.
We received funding from Murray Local Land Services as part of their Catchment Action NSW Program to undertake activities to enhance and maintain the ecological condition of the Pollack Wetland. The project is currently in its third year.
As part of this funding program, we have organised a range of work including pest and weed control, revegetation work and community engagement activities. A major component of the community engagement has been to provide on-ground opportunities for local community members to witness and discuss the delivery and outcomes from environmental water.
We have hosted multiple tours throughout the project, engaging community members, schools, local landholders and other stakeholders. We are passionate about supporting the community and see their vision of the forest come to life.
Our December 2020 trip to the Pollack
Community vision for the Koondrook-Perricoota Forest
The Pollack Swamp Enhancement Project served as a catalyst for the community to create a broader vision Koondrook-Perricoota (K-P) Forest.
A series of community engagement events were facilitated between December 2020 and April 2021.
Our community chose the below statement as their vision for the K-P Forest.
"A healthy working forest where native species can flourish, and where local communities can connect and co-manage the forest for future generations."
A full version of the community visioning outcomes can be downloaded below.
The Pollack Enhancement Project is made possible by funding from Murray Local Land Services through their Catchment Action NSW Program.
Thanks to local landholders Tanya and Graeme Heffer for allowing the project partners and participants to gather and access the Pollack via their property