The Strzelecki local area includes the Country of the Bunurong Traditional Owners and the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners. At present, there are also parts of the local area where formal recognition is not in place. Traditional Owners have a deep and continuing connection to the area and have an ongoing role in caring for Country.

The Strzelecki local area incorporates the steep range of hills that divide the southern part of the West Gippsland region.  

The Strzelecki Ranges are a fragmented landscape with a low proportion of habitat protected through the reserve system. The local area receives high rainfall and supports wet forests and rainforest vegetation communities on the higher slopes grading to lowland forest and shrubby dry forest in the foothills. Almost the entire western part of the local area was cleared in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The eastern parts of the Strzeleckis tend to have more native vegetation cover and feature some significant conservation areas like Tarra-Bulga National Park and Mt Worth State Park, Morwell National Park, Mirboo North Regional Park and a network of smaller reserves1. These features attract visitors to the area and provide valuable habitat for threatened flora and fauna as well as the genetically diverse South Gippsland koala population.   

Waterways include those that flow north into the Latrobe Valley such as the Morwell River and Narracan Creek as well as those that flow south to the coast including the Tarwin, Franklin, Agnes, Tarra and Albert Rivers. Water is an important resource for the environment, stock, domestic, urban supply and horticulture. 

The lower foothills, particularly on the western and southwestern parts of the range, have deep soils suitable for agriculture. These areas now support grazing and vegetable cropping including potatoes.  

Forestry is one of the major land uses in the Strzelecki local area including both hardwood and softwood plantations5. More recently there has been an increase in the number of lifestyle properties and smaller producers especially in the western part of the Strzelecki Ranges.  

Parts of the Strzeleckis are very prone to sheet, tunnel, gully and stream bank erosion and landslips are common. These can have significant impacts on farming and water quality in the local waterways and receiving waters2.   

Landcare volunteers and groups in the local area are supported by the South Gippsland Landcare Network, Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network and the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network.

Collaborative action for Biodiversity

The local area incorporates the Western Strzeleckis and Strzelecki Forests landscapes of interest for Biodiversity Response Planning.

The landscapes of interest support a range of threatened species and important habitat. Biodiversity features include Wet and Damp forests as well as the threatened Cool Temperate Rainforest (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria)). Other notable features include the threatened Spiny and Burrowing Crayfish species, the Giant Gippsland Earthworm, Dwarf Galaxias and the South Gippsland Koala11;2.