Landcare needs to measure outcomes and not just activities

It is easy for Landcare to get caught up in day to day activities and forget to take a step back and see what impact all this activity has had on the landscape.

This fact was highlighted in our recent ‘audit’, which clearly shows the result of 20 years of activity in the catchment.

Our, soils, waterways, vegetation and farming business have all improved compared to where they were two decades ago. 

We know this because of the measurements we have taken against key indicators that are important to us.

Remember investors want to buy an outcome, not just the activity. 

These ‘audits’ are only done every 10 years because it can take that long for the on ground activity to eventually lead to an environmental or production change.

While we keep tally of the annual activity such as trees planted, waterways fenced, erosion treated and weeds sprayed, we also focus on the outcome of all this work.

The first step is to decide on a few key measures and find some robust but cost effective way of measuring them. 

We often use environmental students or volunteer groups such as bird observers to help with the data collection.  Photo points are also a great visual representation.

We don’t rely on Government to do this either.  Past experience shows the emphasis on what to collect will change and the information collected can be dated and hard to access.

Do it yourself - at least then you are responsible for it.

Written by: Cam Nicholson