The surrounding district is used for grazing (mainly sheep) and dryland wheat farming. The nearest village is Mount Hope, a remnant of a much larger mining community, or Euabalong on the Lachlan River. Brush cutting is also an industry on surrounding private property.
The area protects the largest remaining stand of mallee in NSW and it is only in large areas like this that many of the rarer plants and animals can be conserved. The mallee west of Round Hill has not been burnt since 1957. Old mallee is unusual and is the prime habitat for a number of species such as the malleefowl.
The reserves also contain woodland habitats typical of central NSW such as white cypress pine (Callitris glaucophylla), bimble box (Eucalyptus populnea), black box (E. largiflorens) and belah (Casuarina cristate).
Rare and endangered plant species include wild lime (Eremocitrus glauca), common sour-bush (Choretrum glomeratum), western wedding-bush (Ricinocarpus bowmanii), iron-grass (Lomandra patens), yellow darling pea (Swainsona laxa) and Phebalium obcordatum, brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) and azure daisy-bush(Olearia rudis).
The reserves are rich in fauna. Mammals include the wallaroo (Macropus robustus), echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), Sminthopsis spp.,Planigale spp., and insectivorous bats; and the three major species of kangaroos in Australia; the eastern grey (Macropus giganteus), western grey (Macropus fuliginosus) and red kangaroo (Macropus rufus).
Rare or endangered native animals include the recently discovered mouse sized carnivore (Ningaui yvonneae), kultarr (Antechinomys laniger), malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), striated grass wren (Amytornis striatus), red-lored whistler (Pachycephala rufogularis), grey falcon (Falco hypoleucos) and pink cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri).
130 bird species have been recorded for the area. Mallee in particular contains a high diversity of birds with 12 species restricted to mallee. The area is a good habitat for many migratory and nomadic species such as honeyeaters. Round Hill is also very popular with bird watching groups, universities and schools.
Mallee is also rich in reptiles, especially in sandy areas and in mallee with porcupine grass (Triodia irritans). A number of the reptiles are dependent on the mallee environment; eg mallee dragons, (Amphibolurus fordi) and several species of striped skinks, (Ctenotus spp).
The reserves contain a number of Aboriginal sites including open camp sites, art sites and scarred trees, which provide an opportunity for further research. The reserves are within the traditional lands of the southern Ngiyampaa and western Wiradjuri Aboriginal people. Many of these people now live at Murrin Bridge, Lake Cargelligo and Euabalong.
Limited surveys have recorded 56 Aboriginal sites in Yathong and one in Nombinnie. Artefacts suggest the sites are relatively recent and that stone sources were abundant.