While there is a widely held belief that about 80% of cleared agricultural land will have to be revegetated to address salinity problems in Western Australia, it is obvious that farmers cannot afford to take that area of income-generating land out of production, or the cost of such an exercise - and so they invariably elect to do nothing.
David Kennett set himself a goal of discovering ways to make farm forestry in low rainfall districts a financially-rewarding and effective means for addressing environmental issues. He felt convinced that if sufficient farmers were to come on board and implement effective forestry methods, by planting just a modest 5% of their cleared land, they would collectively produce worthwhile benefits for rural economies and the environment.
The ‘Auria Arid Region Forestry Research Project’ was begun by David Kennett in 2001, when he purchased 440 acres of highly degraded land in a low rainfall region of Western Australia. By 2010, the project has been enlarged to cover 600acres and in excess of 500,000 trees have been planted.
In recognition of its accomplishments, ‘Auria’ was a finalist in the category ‘Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge’ in the 2009, United Nations Association of Australia, ‘World Environment Day Awards’. In 2011 he was again a finalist, this time in the 'Individual Award' category.