Project Information

Merluna Station Savanna Burning Project

Savanna burning

Merluna Station is home to the MacLean family, who run a beef cattle enterprise and provide tourist accommodation and camping facilities. Located on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Merluna was purchased by Michelle and Cameron MacLean in 2004, and their three children have grown up on the property. Like many parts of Cape York, much of the 169,000 hectare property remains undeveloped, with only the areas close to their homestead being fenced. Today, the MacLeans run roughly 500 head of cattle in fenced paddocks and have others running free at Merluna.

With their strong focus on sustainability and environmentally conscious practices, the MacLeans commenced a Savanna Burning carbon project in 2014. By conducting controlled ‘cool burns’ earlier in the dry season, the MacLeans have been able to reduce the fuel load and limit the spread of wildfires, protecting the local biodiversity. Additionally, as a result of the carbon project, the MacLeans have noticed grass regenerating in new areas and improvements to the soil quality of their pasture lands.

The carbon project has supported them to transition to a Grazing Naturally approach. They are passionate about this philosophy, and over the past five years have made significant changes. They said, “we’ve eliminated the use of pesticides, herbicides, and drenches on both our pastures and animals. Instead, we’ve shifted towards an organic operation that emphasises maintaining the land’s delicate balance. Having the security of carbon income allowed us to ride through this period without too much worry.”

According to the MacLeans, the carbon project has provided the family with security for future generations, allowing them to pursue agricultural careers and lifestyles. In shifting to the Grazing Naturally approach, the MacLeans are able to employ locals to monitor pastures and rotate the cattle on a more consistent basis. These practices are helping to make sustainable, long-term improvements to soil health at Merluna Station.

Key Benefits

Reduced carbon emissions from wildfires
Improved fire risk management
Increased biodiversity and improved soil health
Protection and regeneration of native vegetation
Investment in the local community through job creation

UN Sustainable
Development Goals



Emissions Abatement through Savanna Fire Management Methodology Determination 2015

Registered ID

Date registered

September 2014

Project area

142,000 ha (approx.)


Cape York, QLD


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