Environmental Vandalism??

Submitted: Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 08:45
ThreadID: 102637 Views:2602 Replies:10 FollowUps:25
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I consider this subject an ExploreOz one but some others may not. Also the heading may be questioned by some.
I was planning a camping trip this weekend and one site close by is the Warrumbungle National Park.
The Park was basically destroyed by fire with most of the animals in it. It seems that the fire is acceptable to greenies as it was caused by lightning not man. Many National park's and state forest in the west have been effected by major fires and many years after still look like atomic bomb sites.
I know that the highly intelligent masses who believe in controlling the uneducated who must be controlled at all costs are going to accused me of not listening to professors and politicians but am only going off experience and observation.
In the last few weeks there has been rainfall in the warrumbungle area and in the local new comments about the washing away of top soil in a massive scale. They even commented that they have spotted some animals in the park.
Many of you would be aware that they are locking up a lot of parks to protect them but my question who is protecting the parks from the greenies?
Is this causing more damage than allowing some le way in how they are controlled ie limited grazing and timber harvesting?
A recent TV show investigated the Alpines and the consensus was they will be a desert in the not to distance future because of the fire storms are killing the trees.
This is not a subject about climate change as even the so called experts say that reducing carbon will not have an effect for many, many years. I am talking about now.

Honky
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Reply By: Member - John G - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 09:41

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 09:41
G'day Honky

I think it's a legitmate topic, but one where few us will have enough current knowledge to comment objectively on whether it's "greenies", other lobby groups or powerful personalities, or bureaucrats, who are making the decisions on the topics to which you refer. In my opinion, informed debate and strategic planning aren't to the forefront of environmental policy at either State or Federal level.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 10:04

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 10:04
Honky you raise a number of issues; prescribed burning, naturally occuring fires caused by lightning, wildlife loss, and soil erosion.

Man will never be able to stop lightning and most lightning caused fires are caused by dry lightning in our hottest months. Also lightning will not discriminate so most will be in inaccessible and often steep terrain, thus will become very hot and intense very quickly. these fires will devistate woodlands and most States have experienced this.

And having just come back from 2 weeks out in 3 of this states deserts I can say that lighting sure can burn out massive tracts of land.

Arson is another instance and the constabulary and our fire services are doing their best to stamp out these mungrals.

A number of years ago Perth had what was termed by the media as the Perth Hills fire which burnt for a week or so and was started in a very remote area of the Darling Ranges. By the time it reached the outer metro area of Pickering Brook and Karagullen it had a fair head of steam behind it. And the bush was subjected to a very high intensity burn. The following week we copped a fairly heavy period of rain and that caused massive erosion problems in our main water catchment area and caused Mundaring Weir to start silting up with the eroded debris.

Many including me subscribe to the belief that low intensity controlled mosaic patter prescribed burning is the only answer to reducing the prevelance of uncontroilled wild fires. Yes some of our native wild life will suffer and possibly be killed by these practices but in no way to the same level as you can get in an uncontrolled wild fire. Most wild life will move out of the way of the approaching fire or go under ground. Walking a burnt out area seldom results in finding dead critters. Once the shoots start to sprout again it's amazing how quickly the wildlife comes back.

I was in the Bush Fire Brigade for 21 years and I think I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.
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Reply By: Member - Terra'Mer - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 10:30

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 10:30
Are you a troll?
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 12:03

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 12:03
Why would you say that?, Honky has been posting for a number of years.

A lot of people (including me) have very similar views as to the management (or lack thereof) of National Parks within Australia.

It is not a simple solution to lock them up and let them go feral, they require constant management which includes controlled burns and animal management.

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Follow Up By: Member - Terra'Mer - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:38

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:38
I thought the thread was either a joke or riling up passive park users.

The original purpose of national parks in NSW was to lock away land for protection and public recreation, not hunting or forestry or mining, not resorts either for that matter.

Over the last 50 years this legislation has been slowly chipped away so parks management has less control then the politicians with the portfolios. Leasehold land is increasing, recreational hunting is being introduced to NSW parks, forestry leases have been issued and more are on the table and mines have been active in parks for decades but leases are also increasing. Commercial tourism development is rapidly increasing.

I am a "greenie" and campaign for national parks to be managed as nature would have it. I don't mind bushwalking tracks being over grown because I know how to use a map and compass. I hate the thought of the very small percentage of protected land being used for industry and commercial gain by revenue hungry governments who care nothing for the long term health of our natural habitats and the natural order of our environment.

Not all parts of a park need to be controlled and not all parks need to be controlled. We need wilderness zones accessible only by foot or air and we need larger tracts of habitats returned to their natural state. It protects diversity and allows future generations to see what it used to be like before we destroyed it with human progress.

In reality, there is not a single piece of land that hasn't been touched by the progress of humans in some way, be it farming, cities, vehicle access, air pollution, global warming, etc. there is no "true wilderness" left on the face of the planet so we should be doing more to hold onto what is left.

Development and control isn't progress if it threatens nature.

About fire, you buy land next to a national park you understand the threat and take measures on your own property to protect it, don't go whinging to the park about how dangerous their trees and leaf litter are. Or just don't buy land next to a national park. The same threat exists living next to a state forest or conservation area. The ACT fires 10 years ago were a fiasco and ACT made mistakes but allowing the fires to run their natural course inside the alps national parks was the right decision. Control burns are responsible so long as they don't impinge on wilderness zones where fire will naturally occur. I just hope some of the red neck national park fire managers don't get their way and systematically burn the whole lot without allowing adequate time for regen, wildlife movement and sensitive habitats like alpine herb patches, mountain pygmy possum and corroboree frog habitats. These same issues exist in all national parks where vulnerable and threatened species of plants and animals are protected by locking the land away, ie, one of the original purposes of national parks.

About ferals, i support humane control programmes but i haven't seen any used yet. I have seen inhumane poisoning, trapping and shooting where some rangers and contractors use humane methods but many do not use humane methods either by accident, miscalculation or not giving a dam. The reintroduction of dingos will make a huge dent on the feral problem but too many people still see them as a problem. Take alpine dingos for example, where they have been reintroduced the number of cats, dogs and other ferals has significantly dropped and the numbers of small native marsupials has increased. The damage caused by horses and deer is hyped up. Pigs are a real problem. Culling licenses are issued to too many shooters without the expertise to kill with one shot and that is unacceptable. I can go on for a long time about this because I have been researching it, following it, witnessed it, seen the results of it over 20 odd years living and walking in NSW national parks. It disgusts me that contractors, researchers and rangers still get it wrong after all these years and millions of tax payers dollars wasted on it. The most humane solutions just happen to be the safest, cheapest and resource efficient.

I appreciate that my views are not popular among some group cultures but I believe I am not the only park user on this forum who likes the idea of increasing protected land and letting nature do her thing.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:37

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:37
"About fire, you buy land next to a national park you understand the threat and take measures on your own property to protect it, don't go whinging to the park about how dangerous their trees and leaf litter are. Or just don't buy land next to a national park. The same threat exists living next to a state forest or conservation area. "

Actually, not true about State Forests. In the past they were selectively culled, had sufficient fire trails and breaks, and had low impact ground litter reduction and burn. Some of the farmers families had lived next to these state forests for generations and looked after them. I know, I grew up next to one. Last 15 years NP&W have come in and closed them off, let the trails grow over, and dead litter is through the roof. NP&W won't allow controlled burns. All the locals who border the 'park' now look over their shoulders VERY VERY nervously.
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Follow Up By: RodH, Sydney - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:44

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:44
+1 Scott. Good comment.
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Follow Up By: Member - Terra'Mer - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 15:07

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 15:07
If you live near bushland, even managed bushland, fire is a threat. I'm not saying the threat is as much as living near land that hasn't been cleared, thinned or hasn't had a recent prescribed burn but it is still there because it is Australian bush and it burns well.

BTW I have 5 years fire fighting experience in QLD, NSW and SA and have learnt a bit from people who have made the study and control of fire their career.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 15:19

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 15:19
Terra, anyone who lives near these Forests knows they're a threat. That isn't a surprise.

In the past the controlled burns were done in a section of the forest selectively over a number of years. Impact to wildlife was minimal, regeneration was quick, and ground litter was controlled.

However due to the changed 'management', what the locals used to assess as reasonable risk of a low to medium impact fire with the "threat and take measures on your own property to protect it" suddenly now has become the risk of a high impact or firestorm event potentially throwing embers miles beyond what has historically happened.

Sorry if you see this as "whinging" - most of the locals see it as a reasonable response to bad management.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 16:21

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 16:21
Terra,

You say "In reality, there is not a single piece of land that hasn't been touched by the progress of humans in some way, be it farming, cities, vehicle access, air pollution, global warming, etc. there is no "true wilderness" left on the face of the planet so we should be doing more to hold onto what is left."

I have great difficulty with the notion that humans are somehow "outside" or "invasive of " natural systems or even "wilderness". Surely humans are part and parcel of the environment - we are just another animal after all. I do think that many people who now live in urban environments are quite alienated from the wilder, or more "natural" parts of our environment, but I still cant bring myself to see us as anything other than part of the environment. And that perspective can make a big difference in how one views environmental management - something that I have been actively involved in for a long time.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 18:51

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 18:51
terra you are a FOOL.
dont you realise that periodic burns that are not as intense as bushfires ?
they give the trees the chance to regenerate because of the lower intensity burn rates in winter, than compared to a bush fire in summer !!
the native animals have no problems surviving a back burn operation in the normal season, because its a SLOW AND LOW TEMPERATURE BURN.
you have a bush fire in summer, and the intense heat, high winds will spread quickly and burn super hot because the bush has been locked up !!
fuel loads havnt been reduced, trees are dense compared to pre european settlement, and therefore fierce fires that spread fast that kill both animals and humans.
dont you know that aborigines used fire as a land management tool for THOUSANDS OF YEARS.. and it worked every time.
its your attitude of locking it up, that is where we are at.
you realy have no idea, yet you say youve fought bush fires, and been on the ground..
ooh you vote for the greens too i bet.
youd rather see their pest implementation of catch, sterilise and release of feral cats..
its a friggin joke, the time, money and effort into this soo called program currently running in sydney is a joke.
they say their all for saving native animals, yet dont remove the caught feral cats that do the most damage, theyd rather let them go and wait 10years for them to sterilise out, PFFT.
like whos going to keep trapping the feral cats ?
their is 18million of them in this country, thats just cats alone.
the bush needs to be burnt, every 3 to 5 years, sensitive high country areas need cattle grazing like they did for over a 100 years.
mountain cattlemen know about their land, its not just their livelyhood, but its their home, and generations have been doing the same thing.
they keep the tracks open, fencing, and removing pests..
at a saving to the tax payer, as well as keeping the grass low to prevent bushfires.

living next to bushland is a hazard, YES but proper management and routine burning reduces the risk imensly.
where it can be safely managed, and NOT RISK LIVES.

currently that is not happening, and the results are loss of human life. as well as buildings, livestock and native animals.
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Follow Up By: Member - Terra'Mer - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 21:46

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 21:46
How dare you call me a "FOOL". I am nobody's fool. And nor are the millions of informed and experienced people who share my perspective.

Yes, I see humans as a destructive threat. Humans are the most destructive species on the face of this planet and have proven we can not live in harmony with nature in such large numbers. I am often ashamed of being human because of what we have done to nature and each other.

There is pre-glacial geological evidence of human habitation in the Kosciuszko NP. Let's round it out to 200,000 years (potentially making this continent the cradle of humanity) and look at how much white Australian's have changed the environment in 200 odd years.

Yes Val, the concept of humans being part of the environment was the hardest thing to get my head around at uni. I tried but failed because all I could see was the damage and obliteration of natural habitats, extinction of species, crowds. I grew up watching ski resorts and the government slowly but steadily compromising national parks and the protection of the environment. It is hypocritical that i love spending so much time in nature but I leave no trace.

I am Worimi. I have inherited the responsibility of story teller, not only for Worimi but for many nations because there are so few still in harmony with the land and the dreamtime. The spirits of our ancestors and land, the spirits of dreaming, are still here, they will always be here and they are not happy either.

I am also intelligent enough to research my opinions, brave enough to stand up for what i believe and optimistic that we'll conserve more of our environment by locking it away.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 22:31

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 22:31
Mountainman, calling someone a fool for their opinions is rude.

Terra has every right to her opinion and has some valid points. Agree that areas do need to be set aside as wilderness, just don't agree that they should be state forests next to populated areas.

Do agree that some people should not be allowed to run around willy-nilly with firearms, however I believe there is a place for truly professional shooters.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 00:23

Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 00:23
If there's a fool here Terra it certainly isn't you.
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 06:40

Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 06:40
No Terra you are not a FOOL but I would say that some of your comments don't sit well with some of the people here.

A comment like:

"I see humans as a destructive threat. Humans are the most destructive species on the face of this planet and have proven we can not live in harmony with nature in such large numbers. I am often ashamed of being human because of what we have done to nature and each other."

I for one, don't agree with the gist of this comment, I embrace the social and technological advances the human race has bought to the world. I like my home comforts, fresh food, clean water, electricity, roads, cars, computers etc, NONE of which would be here without some exploitation of nature.

Humane intervention has also helped in the ecological system. Take for example the Toolale Station purchase, while done for good intentions of returning water to the MDB the following turned out to be true:

"Three years after the federal government led the purchase of the 91,000-hectare property to release its irrigated water back to the river system, the dams and irrigation channels are still in place - though their decommissioning was a key part of the environmental plan - the Herald has confirmed.

An ''infrastructure decommissioning plan'' drawn up by engineering consultants Aurecon in 2009 found there were environmental obstacles to scrapping the dams and channels because a new ecology has grown in the 150 years since the station was established. Also, a complete decommissioning would cost $79 million."

So Terra, when you travel this great country think about the people who built the roads, man the service stations, grow your food and provide the technologies which enable for you to do it.

And I hope you find your marbles and a good life.

Cheers

Lyn






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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 22:02

Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 22:02
The evidence seems to support your comment Terra - there is little doubt humans are the most destructive species ever to have occupied this planet. Our total inability to control our own population is but one example, but there are many many more, including our destructive and unsustainable attitude to resource exploitation. The most alarming aspect of this is that the destruction of habitat and massive resource depletion has happened in a VERY VERY short time - both in human terms and also obviously in planet time.

The enormous pressure being placed on resources (water, food, timber, fish, oil, minerals .... just about everything you can think of) has coincided with the most rapid advances in society ever - many for the better of course. Prof David Suzuki among others has been warning about the unsustainability of "growth" for decades but we are driven by greed, need, and our inability to look beyond our own lifetimes to demand and expect bigger, better, more. Not all societies have this attitude, or luck, as we know.

Of course it's far from all doom and gloom - our increased knowledge gives us the power to repair, regrow, ameliorate etc (when things get bad enough and we decide to pull together that is). The worrying thing for some of us in this country is the apparently growing propensity for thumbing our noses at scientific data which doesn't suit us for some reason. Whether it be global warming, the loss of forest, depletion of fish stocks etc we'll generally only act when things get desperate. How often have you heard this reason offered as a reason for not taking certain actions: "I have great faith in the ability of humans to adjust and find answers to our problems in the future?"

Most people in this country are adequately educated and have enough access to good information to be able to acknowledge that we will individually and as a group leave a huge footprint when we finally return to dust. Recognising that fact is the first step (one we don't seem to have reached in Australia yet), taking action as a society is even further down the line.

We are very lucky to live in this time on earth and we ought to at least recognise it even if we aren't prepared to "put something in the bank for the future". If the last 50 years is anything to go by conditions for most occupants of the planet will change enormously in the next century and I doubt they will be as benign or plentiful as they currently are.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Sunday, Jun 09, 2013 at 07:54

Sunday, Jun 09, 2013 at 07:54
I don't believe that you can separate humans from nature. We are part of it like it or not. I also believe that everything we do has to be natural or we can't do it. We build a spaceship, a spider builds a web. If we bend things too far from what the system can stand, then it will be us who is destroyed. Nature will be fine, it has all the time in the world. There would be other casualties though, but then 99% of species that ever existed are extinct, and you can't hang that on us. If any species gets too dominant then the system is out of balance and that species is toast. It's probably why there aren't intergalactic spaceliners zipping around in plain sight all over the place given that there have been billions of years for intelligent life forms to evolve. Look up Fermi's Paradox.
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Reply By: tim_c - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 10:49

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 10:49
People don't refer to them as "National Sparks and Wildfire Service" for nothing.

A big part of the issue is that the parks are closed up so tight that no one knows how high the fuel loads are getting. Then when there is a fire, it burns with such high intensity that the trees are killed rather than being able to grow back. Most of the trees you will find in many of Australia's National Parks actually benefit from regular low-medium intensity fires, but if the fire is too hot/intense, it ends up killing the trees, which then of course causes loss of habit for fauna and nothing to hold the topsoil in place.
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Follow Up By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:16

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:16
Love that title
I have called them the Parks and Gardens over here.
Been a member of CFS for nearly 40 years and wont go or supply my workers to those fires during business hours, as it has become hurry up and wait, while decisions are made to do something.
If the fire is going into the farming community they can go.
Cheers
Charlie
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Reply By: Member - John G - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 11:58

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 11:58
G'day again Honky

You'd be interested in the opening para of the National Parks Association of NSW recent newsletter.

" In the last two years, the NSW government has made a series of alarming environmental decisions that seriously threaten the future of our national parks and wildlife. Many of these decisions have no scientific grounding and have instead come about as part of political deals made with the Shooters and Fishers Party."

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 12:16

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 12:16
That does not surprise me at all. We the over regulated, run by minority Australians. I do wonder where all this will end up!
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Follow Up By: Honky - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 12:20

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 12:20
Well aware of the City attitude of shooting in national parks.
A very different story from farmers that live close to national parks about the uncontrolled breeding of feral animals in national parks.
Whilst I do not like the idea of camping near people with guns I forget that it was a very common thing when I was young with no issues and a lot less controlled.
1080 is a very cruel poison.

Honky
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 16:02

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 16:02
David...........need the `agree' button!!! LOL Yep, have to agree, we are getting squeezed by legislation and I believe our rights are being impinged. There are various issues to do with our hobbies ie. 4WD, camping, exploring, that are being legislated against, sometimes by the misinformed and ignorant. They just want to stop us having fun. At the end of the day, you don't ban the use of cars because of the minority of Drunks that drink and drive. I hate the way it feels like the majority are sometimes penalised for the sins of the minority.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 00:30

Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 00:30
You can't get away with that generalisation David. Give us some examples. As we all know well the great majority of regulations in most areas of society are well-reasoned and based on sound knowledge and evidence.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:03

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:03
Honky,

I think the issue of how we manage our natural environment is not only relevant to this forum, but important too. But in discussing such a complex subject its good to have the benefit of good information and reliable facts and evidence. Your comments suggest that you dont have too much time for "professors" and that is your choice, but they too frequently work from "experience and observation" as you do - but they might draw different conclusions.

Here in Canberra we had devastating fires 10 years ago. Those fires were started by lightning strikes in a national park which also happens to be the catchment for Canberra's water supply. The upshot is that those fires and their consequences have been studied in great detail. Just last night on the ABC there was a story
here about the firestorm, showing how it was actually a "fire tornado" - those studies have revealed new understanding about how fires behave in certain conditions. Worth a look.

The environmental impacts following the fire were very severe, not helped by heavy rain that fell and washed vast amounts of ash and soil into waterways. For all that, things have recovered quite well - you can read a CSIRO report here.

The point I'm trying to make is that environmental mangement, whether in national parks, or on a farm or even along roadsides is a complex business where knowledge is developing all the time. No-one has all the answers, not "greenies", not "cockies" or any other group that is easy to stick a meaningless label on. And on top of the environmental questions are also considerations of politics, economics, social factors and so on, which makes it all very complex. Right now I believe that environmental concern and management has slipped down the list of political priorities (remember back about 1990 when Bob Hawke was PM it was top of the list of things people were concerned about).

Bob Carr created lot of new NPs in NSW when he was premier here - but he did not provide a budget to ensure that they were properly managed. But I doubt that letting shooters in to hunt feral animals will be a satisfactory measure. Mosaic burning during winter would probably be the best approach to fire management that we have at this time - but without a decent budget that wont happen. In the meantime all sorts of lobby groups will be trying to persuade those responsible to do whatever their pet remedy may be. Your ideas of "limited grazing and timber harvesting" are some of the many ideas that are frequently put forward, and like most ideas they have some good and some not-so-good points (from where I sit).

I think the best most of us can do is to become reasonably informed, by reading widely and observing closely. TV programs are sometimes OK but often they have a particular slant or axe to grind - I'm doubtful that alpine areas are about to turn into deserts, but yes fires in alpine areas do kill Eucalyptus regnans and they only regenerate from seed - unlike most other eucalypts that regenerate after fire by means of epicormic growth along their trunk and branches.

I hope you enjoy your trip to the Warrmbungles, they are a beautiful place. I hope you will see some fascinating examples of natural regeneration taking place.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 15:01

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 15:01
If you are really interested readhere for info from the Bushfire CoOperative Research Ctr. I've had some dealings with their staff and research during my time with the brigade and they some very good stuff in relation to the effects of fire on the built and natural environment.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:05

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:05
It was always my understanding that controlled back-burning is done for the same reasons our indigenous Australian's did it. If we, as humans (indigenous or modern Europeans) have knowledge of how to maximise the chance of a healthy season for the native flora/fauna of a region and can balance this with providing safe human use too, then surely it is only "natural" for us to work in harmony with our environment in this way. I also agree, that it seems some extremists forget that human evolution is also "natural". We should feel right to use our knowledge that a little intervention is worth doing, when we know the consequence of non-action is dire. Just my opinion on these things.
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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:21

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 13:21
Without taking a position one way or the other, but isn’t it the case that for as long, if not longer that man has been around we have had lightening, devastating fires, and rain washing away topsoil.

I’m far from being a “greenie”, not that I’m sure what the term “greenie” really means these days as it is used widely covering a broad range of people...but perhaps that is the starting position of many, this is nature taking its course.
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Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:59

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:59
Honky,

There are a few things wrong with your arguments. There are no highly intelligent masses. Highly intelligent people are statistically in the minority by a long shot. Politicians don't need to be intelligent, they just need to appeal to people and it is vital to them that they listen or they are out of a job. Whatever happens in the long term is the view of the majority. Short term, interest groups may influence policy their way, but long term the majority will swamp them if they don't agree. Therefore, I don't believe in a silent majority, the majority speaks every election. I believe that if you find yourself out of step and disagree with how things are happening in the long term, then you are in the minority. If a government has to make policy decisions about our future, then personally I would prefer that they asked the opinion of intelligent people. Intelligent people have given us the lifestyle and comforts that we all now enjoy. If they don't ask intelligent people, then which dumb people should they ask instead?
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 16:03

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 16:03
Agree but who are the intelligent people? I work in a practical industry ( construction) and constantly find that the 'intelligent people' are the profoundly stupid ones in practical common sense terms
Remember it was these intelligent experts that gave us the cane toad, rabbits etc. These people were meant to be at the pointy end of our intelligent society and just show how little we understand nature
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 17:51

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 17:51
Alby, please think a bit more broadly. I suppose it was "practical" as opposed to "intelligent" people who brought you television and internet and smart phones, modern motor vehicles, medical breakthroughs and the list goes on....

Rabbits probably arrived with the first fleet, and cane toads arrived in the 1950s when the idea of biological control was seen as minor scientific miracle. Practical people have wonderful things to contribute, but so do intelligent people - they are not mutually exclusive and some fortunate folk are both intelligent and practical! And all are human and make mistakes.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 18:43

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 18:43
Val , I understand where you are coming from and my previous statement was broad brushed and overly simplistic but on both of the above disasters that I referred to your explanation is exactly what I am saying. At the time, be it first fleet or the 50's the people who made those decisions were at the pointy end of intelligence in society and no date history will look back at the stupid decisions we have made in present times.
My point is that often the people who will make the decisions on " managing mother nature" do not really have a handle on the situation but hold that position of power or influence.
We should be looking to our indigineous brothers and learn from them rather than trying to justify a point of view with computer modeling and software programs

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 18:52

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 18:52
Hi

Seems to be some confusion between "intelligence" and "knowledge" here. All humans are intelligent...some people have knowledge on "practical" things..some on other matters. If the people who introduced various exotic species into Australia had the knowledge of what affect they would have in the long term you would have to assume they wouldn't have gone through with it (if they did anyway it wouldn't have been because they were un-intelligent). Issue here is that some people think they have the knowledge on a subject that others don't...nothing about intelligence at all...and clearly some people don't have the knowledge they think they have irrespective of their intelligence.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 06:32

Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 06:32
Fair call Greg
My posts should say "supposedly knowledgable "
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FollowupID: 791281

Reply By: Bazooka - Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 01:18

Saturday, Jun 08, 2013 at 01:18
So many self-proclaimed experts, so little actual knowledge - including mine.

Sorry Honky but I prefer to rely on informed opinions, or as you refer to them - "so called experts". People who have qualifications, who have studied the myriad complex systems and their interactions, consulted and debated with their peers and many competing interested parties, and used mountains of information to help determine policies. They aren't perfect and they don't always get things right but they're light years ahead of anecdotal opinion, the "I've lived here for 80 years" type experience, and quaint well-intentioned but invariably misinformed advice from amateurs. That said there is nothing wrong with challenging experts and debating issues and solutions. The problem I have is when science and learned opinion is ignored or ridiculed and amateurs think their opinions should be considered of equal weight.

There is no doubt that controlled burning can assist in bushfire management but it's just one factor, albeit a big one. If you want to point fingers you could just as well be railing against the privatisation of electricity companies and their lack of attention to maintenance, or the people who ignore bans during dangerous conditions. I don't want to be specific but Perth and Tarcutta-Wagga residents will know what I'm alluding to. Greenies had nothing at all to do with the massive losses incurred in those two incidents.

As obvious as it seems, the Vic Royal Commission said: "Prescribed burning is one of the main tools for fire management on public land. It cannot prevent bushfire, but it decreases fuel loads and so reduces the spread and intensity of bushfires. By reducing the spread and intensity of bushfires, it also helps protect flora and fauna. Ironically, maintaining pristine forests untouched by fuel reduction can predispose those forests to greater destruction in the event of a bushfire."

It also said: "The Commission recognises that prescribed burning is risky, resource intensive, available only in limited time frames, and can temporarily have adverse effects on local communities (for example, reduced air quality)."

And therein lies one of the great problems. Governments and taxpayers won't fund the large amount of resources and effort required to conduct controlled burns and pest (both animal and vegetable) eradication. Before the horrific 2009 fires Vic was burning less than 2% annual when experts were advising at least double that should be the target.
AnswerID: 512767

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