BALARDONG NOONGAR COUNTRY
- Region: Wheatbelt, WA
- Scheduled Planting: 2021
- Size: 40 hectares
- Partner: FarmWoods
- Planting Type: Biodiverse Native Sandalwood
- Species: Acacia sp., Allocasuarina sp., Eucalypt sp., Grevillia sp., Hakea sp., Santalum Spicatum
Before being cleared in the early 1990s, much of the Gabbin site was covered with native sandalwood (Santalum spicatum). Without the protection of trees and shrubs, the site has experienced significant wind damage. In addition, the site's acid yellow Wodjil soil has a higher water recharge rate compared to other soil types, exacerbating the rise of saline water tables and secondary salinity issues.
We will be planting more than 22 native species at the Gabbin site, including Acacia and Sandalwood. Once the plantings are sufficiently established, sheep grazing will be allowed in the area to control weeds and reduce fire hazard. The landholders will be allowed to collect fallen sandalwood nuts, and after 25 years will be allowed to harvest the sandalwood timber, which represents only a small potion of the total biomass of the plantings. This creates a mutually beneficial and sustainable model which we hope will encourage more landholders to restore land in the future.