Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke is calling on landholders around Cowra who may have important native plants or animals on their property to get serious about conservation.

From today the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is taking expressions of interest (EOIs) from landholders in the Cowra local government area to participate in the Conservation Management Program.

“If you think you have something special on your land, get involved in this program and help us help you,” Ms Cooke said.

“This will deliver major benefits to the environment and support landholders to carry out important conservation management on their properties, diversifying their income stream by funding their conservation efforts.

“It forms a part of the NSW Government’s unprecedented investment of $240 million over five years, and $70 million per year ongoing, in a new private land conservation program.”

This announcement forms a $16 million conservation tender for the Central West, Murray-Riverina and Northern Inland regions.

The call for EOIs in the Central West region opened today, Monday April 23 and will close in four weeks on Monday, May 21.

Landholders will be supported by the BCT to submit costed management plans. If the site is assessed as suitable, the BCT and the landholder will negotiate a conservation agreement.

The opening of expressions of interest comes after NSW Minister for the Environment, Gabrielle Upton, announced the BCT’s initial tranche of programs on March 2 2018.

“The not-for-profit Biodiversity Conservation Trust will offer $37 million for programs in 2018,” Ms Upton said.

“This will deliver major benefits to the environment and support landholders to carry out important conservation management on their properties.”