Revegetating with non-grazing species in a nutshell

There are non-grazing options for the full range of saltland sites where revegetation is possible. Saltland Solution 1 – Fence and exclude from grazing is a special case, recommended for sites that that are too saline, waterlogged and/or inundated for other solutions to succeed.

Revegetating with non-grazing species is recommended for a much wider suite of saltland sites where grazing may be a suitable land use, but other considerations lead to a rehabilitation plan that includes trees or other non-grazing species as a major component of the revegetation mix. Occasional grazing may be part of this solution, but only at times and at grazing pressures that do not threaten the other benefits being sought.

There are two different strategies within this Saltland Solution, depending on the farmer’s objectives:

  1. revegetation with trees and/or shrubs and/or under-storey, but with the selection of revegetation species focussed on conservation and visual amenity, with no aspirations for a commercial product. This strategy is probably the most reliable, because it involves a range of species, and because commercial growth rates are not expected;
  2. revegetation with trees, with the species selected for commercial wood products (saw logs, wood pulp or firewood) rather than just for conservation or visual amenity. CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products has been very active in selecting trees for commercial application on saltland. This strategy is much more challenging because a limited range of species will be suitable, the time to achieving a benefit will be long, and both the biology and the marketing aspects have to align.

The current interest in planting trees for greenhouse gas abatement may add significantly to the motivation for this saltland option. Carbon sequestration could be particularly attractive for saltland which apart from grazing, has few other prospects for productive use. The commercial settings for carbon sequestration are under review but are tending to favour non commercial plantings.

 

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