Land management issues stem mainly from the effects of human activities on land. Erosion is a naturally occurring process which can contribute sediment to water bodies^, but can also be exacerbated by human activities. This chapter focuses on the impacts of human activity and accelerated erosion. Potential for adverse environmental effects depends upon two factors: the capability of the land and soil to support particular uses and the effects of a given activity on different land and soil types. Mismanagement of the land resource has major implications for water quality and aquatic biological diversity in terms of sediment and nutrient inputs. These implications stem from the very strong links that exist between the land and water resources.

Agriculture, particularly pasture-based farming, is the foundation of the Region’s economy and is one of the key elements that has defined the Region’s social and visual landscape. However, in some areas, past and present agricultural practices have damaged the very resource upon which the agricultural sector is based – the land and soil. Future land management practices have the potential to increase the rate of damage if they do not take the natural limitations of the land into account.