Locals promote biodiversity of forests. Enter Conservation Agreements with the Government and publicise these options . Rescue local wildlife. Fund nest box programs. Host field days for the NSW Government on land management and conservation issues and for local landcare. Help with educational talks at local Catchment Management Authority and Livestock Health and Pest Authority field days. Arrange for fox baiting to control ferals in this forest.
What does the State Government do ?
Approve cutting down lands in this forests for firewood to anybody who applies.
In the face of this hypocrisy locals can only take matters into their own hands. Local landcare has attempted to raise funds for land purchase in this forest to preserve what cannot be covenenated . After all the first law of conservation is preservation now rather than expensive restoration later.
So far no Government department , either State or Federal is interested in joining with locals in such a worthy cause.
Mount Rae forest is on the National Bi- Centennial trail. Lands as a stopover, with interpretive signage ? Education days for schoolchildren and a refuge for local biodiversity? Preservation of water quality on top of the Sydney Catchment (at approx 1,000 metres) ?
OR FIREWOOD for a future market in Canberra and Sydney? It would seem our politicians and bureaucrats think the latter is the better option. Mount Rae forest could be a shining example of communities involved in landscape scale connectivity conservation. Or it can continue to be be undermined one property at a time with logging approvals issued by the Office of Enviornment and Heritage . About time department heads learnt to practice what they preach…
MANY LOCAL GROUPS have helped over the years in either identification of fauna and flora or support in other ways. Some of these local groups are:
The Goulburn Field Naturalists Society
The Roslyn Landcare Group
The Goulburn branch of the Australian Native Plant Society
The Crookwell Fauna and Flora Club
The Friends of Crookwell
The Southern Tablelands WIRES
Many other organisations have given help in various ways. These include :
The Wilderness Society (Sydney)
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW
The National Park’s Association
The North Coast Environment Council
The below fundraiser was an outstanding success . Special thanks must go to Catherine of CATHERINES CAFE, Wildlife artist and ornithologist Humphrey Price-Jones and Eric Hurn of Roslyn Landcare .
HUMPHREY PRICE-JONES : “the exisiting biodiversity of this forest is demonstrable proof that any disruption let alone clearing for firewood , cannot improve this forest and will only have a negative effect”
The Gang Gang cockatoos ,an original painting, was donated by a local internationally renown wildlife artist and conservationist ,Humphrey Price-Jones, to raise funds for Roslyn Landcare’s attempts to purchase lands in Mount Rae forest for future protection.
The next is a framed cigle print of the iconic species of this forest, the Powerful Owl painted by internationally renowned local wildlife artist and ornithologist Humphrey Price-Jones , given to me (Mark Selmes) by The Friends of Crookwell, in recognition of efforts to preserve this forest. I in turn donated it for sale at the fundraiser, where it was purchased by a local shire councillor .
They were both beautifully framed through the generosity of Bob and Sonja Millis of ARTHEAD in Goulburn.
The fundraiser raised nearly $10,000 . With other pledges nearly $50,000 has been raised.
Crookwell Fauna and Flora Club reported in the Crookwell Gazette: “Highlights included a visit to Mount Rae Forest , with 26 of the Club’s 48 members attending. As a result of the visit , the Club has thrown it’s support behind efforts to preserve the forest from lopping for firewood purposes”
Below are some of the scores of letters written opposing commercial logging in this forest. The very last one is from one of the areas original inhabitants-the wildlife themselves:
For other community efforts see: Private Land Conservation and Landcare pages on this site.