Landcare

INCREASING CONNECTIVITY AND NATIVE VEGETATION THROUGH WILDLIFE CORRIDORS TO MOUNT RAE FOREST. While Landcare groups plant trees to increase connectivity to remnant forest and woodland at a landscape scale , our bureaucrats and governments increase logging at a commercial scale in these same areas… 

ROSLYN LANDCARE GROUP (taken from” Landcare in the Wollondilly Catchment “)

 OUR VISION: to preserve areas of remnant vegetation by regeneration and maintaining the native flora and fauna in the district. To link remnants with wildlife corridors that lead to major forest areas. To provide habitat for native species including threatened species and to reduce the risk of salinity and soil erosion and improve water quality.

Lack of native tree cover was identified as one of the major issues in the area.

PROJECT: WILDLIFE CORRIDORS LINKING AND PRESERVING REMNANT VEGETATION

Background: The group identified a need to preserve pockets of remnant vegetation and introduce more vegetation by creating wildlife corridors. These actions would encourage insectivorous birds and other wildlife to the area thus improving biodiversity and long term agricultural productive capacity. 

Roslyn Landcare Group approached me for  information on threatened species in the Mount Rae area and informed me that the forested lands of the Mount Rae area were the focus of most of their corridor plantings. Over $360,000 of tree planting. The project officer considered that allowing comercial logging at the source of these wildlife corridor plantings “flew in the face” of what they were trying to achieve as a local landcare group and would render much of their work  redundant.   

From the HNCMA Landcare Newsletter “The Wollondilly Warbler”:

ROSLYN LANDCARE GROUP  applied (2009 and 2010) to the Federal Caring for Our Country program ” to purchase 400 acres of remnant native forest at Mount Rae  which is immediately adjacent to our project area. If successful the land will become part of the National Reserve System, managed by the Landcare Group which will protect the forest in perpetuity as a natural resource.”

“Current threats to Mount Rae forest include: Native vegetation clearing , fragmentation and degredation through commercial scale firewood logging…”

The proposed purchase will secure 160 hectares of Mount Rae remnant forest in a 0.01-5% protected sub IBRA region. Hawkesbury Nepean CMA has identified an Endangered Ecological Community (Tablelands Basalt Forest) through p5ma vegetation mapping and site visits…”

“Roslyn Landcare Group has been active for 15 years in planting 100,000 native trees and shrubs and protecting and enhancing over 100ha. of remnant vegetation. The Upper Lachlan Shire Council’s recent Biodiversity Planniong Framework Report notes this by stating, for the Mount Rae -Roslyn area:”Substantial strategic revegetation has already been undertaken to support a highly fragmented but nevertheless important corridor linking the extensive remnant native vegetation in the Mount Rae area with remnant vegetation around Roslyn”

Roslyn Landcare Group through their efforts in contributing to the protection of rare , threatened ecosytems and wildlife habitat , raising awareness of better management of remnant native vegetation, linking protected areas and encouraging community participation received a “highly commended “award for Nature Conservation  in  2008. In 2009 they received the Landcare Community Group Award of the Hawkesbury- Nepean region.

In 2007 the group stated :” Due to our Landcare project being directly linked to the Mount Rae forest area and the bird and animal corridors feeding into our Roslyn area facing depletion as a result of serious de-forestation , a special meeting was called to discuss these issues. The result being that Roslyn Landcare agreed with 100% support to add their support opposing the tree felling operation.”  

Quote from Goulburn Post newspaper (editorial) February 2009: “Roslyn Landcare Project Co-ordinator and Deputy Chair Eric Hurn reitierated what many who had written submissions to council against this proposal knew-that the forest is a rare ecological resource and worthy of protection for future generations   “Mount Rae is a lifeline for landcare groups in Roslyn and Taralga and Tarlo and other places. It is important for the whole catchment. “

COMMENT: Roslyn Landcare Group has spent time and money restoring native ecosystems by fencing pockets of remnant vegetation on private land , and by planting over 100kms of native trees linking them with Mount Rae Forest. Yet under State PNF legislation the precedent has been set for all the regions remaining trees on private lands to be logged for commercial firewood if the landowner so wishes. All condoned by the Department heads in the Office of Environment and Heritage against the advice of their own scientists. 

LANDCARE GROUPS ACROSS THE STATE  are BRINGING BACK THE BIRDS.Each year landcarers plant many native trees, shrubs and grasses. They implement bushland restoration and conservation activites in sensitive areas not under the protection of formal parks and reserves. RESTORING WILDLIFE HABITATS. Throughout Australia , landcare activities have provided protection for more than 6000 native species.

Many are asking “Why bother ?” when governments approve felling in one week more than we plant in a year. ? Governments ask landowners to “get involved” . When they do in Mount Rae forest , the same Government betrays them and the very species these departments are supposed to  protect..   

It is not just Roslyn Landcare who have expressed dismay at the NSW State Government decision. The below is an extract from a letter written by the Upper Lachlan Landcare Vice president Dr. Ross Higginson and Secretary John O’Brien to the Crookwell Gazette newspaper :

“…That a minister in charge of a Department of Environment and Climate Change (Mr Koperberg) could make such a decison is unbelievable to us. This decision is contrary to all environmental principles previously preached by his , and is contrary to the best managemnet practices of Climate Change.His Department …was busily encouraging farmers and landcarers to plant as many native trees as possible, and was vigorously pursuing the development of a Native Vegetation Management Act aimed at protecting native vegetation. ”

“The backflip reported in your news paper reverses a decision previously supported by our Shire and the Sydney Catchment Authority and flies in the face of all logical reasoning.”