Category Archives: Biological restoration

Non-destructive revegetation at Flood Creek

Our non-destructive revegetation trial is now under way at Flood Creek. Many thanks are due to the Green Army team that came and helped, consisting of: Alex, Dylan, Tiarnah, Nicole and Chloe. Thanks Guys! The team was provided by Skillset under the auspices of the Federal Government’s Green Army programme and was locally hosted by the Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council.

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Nicole, Tiarnah, Dylan, Chloe and Alex at the end of the second day’s planting.

We planted a mix of casuarinas and teatree alongside a section of Flood Creek on the Braidwood Common. These were interspersed in some areas with snowgums, yellowbox, blackwood, red-stem wattle and callistemon. All up, around 800 native trees and shrubs went in. Further plantings will follow over time.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of non-destructive revegetation, I’ll give a brief outline of the theory. The main point is that we didn’t begin this planting work by destroying any of the existing riparian habitat. Although this section of Flood Creek is currently stabilised by non-natives (mainly willows and hawthorns), we don’t see removing these plants as necessary or desirable in order to increase biodiversity and habitat value.

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A new native tree, augmenting the existing habitat and biodiversity at Flood Creek

Several native animal species already utilise the riparian corridor along Flood Creek (including swamp wallaby, wombats and platypus). Destruction of the existing vegetation would obviously cause massive ecological disturbance and probably make this area uninhabitable for decades. Moreover, removal of mature riparian trees accelerates peak flows, increasing the likelihood of downstream flooding and raising the risk of local erosion, as occurs time after time following willow destruction activities–sometimes misnamed “revegetation”. Many Australians are opposed to this form of environmental destruction, but the removal industry remains profitable due to outdated environmental funding programmes.

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Two great landscape rehydration field days

Hi folks,

There’ll be two excellent Natural Sequence Farming and landscape rehydration field days held consecutively on Nov 7th and 8th near Bungendore, NSW. I expect every innovative Landcarer in the country will be there, or will die trying to get there, for one or both of these days.

The first (Nov 7th) is a tour to see restorative bed structures on Turallo Creek at the “the Gib”.

(Click the image below to see the full-sized flyer.)

Turallo Ck field day 7th November

The structures installed at the Gib were put in by the landholder using ordinary farm equipment and have had a great effect on what was once a dry and eroded gully. This is another example of an empowered land manager doing excellent practical work that positively benefits landscape health and farm productivity. As it turns out, existing regulatory frameworks have made this beneficial process more difficult than it should be.

These frameworks will be discussed in more detail at the second field day (Nov 8th) which will be a tour of Mulloon Creek Natural Farms. Attendees will inspect and discuss the Natural Sequence Farming rehydration works completed here nine years ago. See the beneficial effects of these structures and hear about how the Mulloon Institute, in partnership with other organisations, is now supporting the Mulloon Creek community to work together on a multi-property catchment-wide rehydration effort.

(Click the image below)

Mulloon Creek field day 8th November

Both field days will be well-attended and are bound to promote some great discussion and learning opportunities. Spread the word and be there!

 

Awesome interview with Tao Orion, author of ‘Beyond the War on Invasive Species: a Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration’

Tao Orion is the author of new book available from Chelsea Green Publishing, titled ‘Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration‘. The book is available to order from the publisher here.

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I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to getting my own copy. I’m writing this brief post to highlight an awesome interview with Tao Orion that is available here on the Organic Consumers Association website.

In just this brief interview, Tao provides a very insightful read and I’d urge everyone with an interest in the future to have a look.

I’ve included three short excerpts here to tempt you:

The “ethical corruption” that Holmgren describes is the dangerous trend in the science of invasion and restoration ecology to narrowly focus on restoration as a practice of attempting to return certain ecosystems to an idealized former state. This concept paints invasive and novel organisms as disruptive to ecosystems, and tends to miss the bigger picture of how ecosystems have changed and are constantly changing in response to human and non-human impacts upon them. That large conservation and restoration organizations like The Nature Conservancy are allied with pesticide manufacturers like Monsanto, which have essentially manufactured the war on invasive species for their own financial benefit, is something that we have to think about very closely. This approach for managing species invasions does little to restore ecological functionality, especially on a larger scale.” –Tao Orion

Invasive species don’t have special powers and aren’t inherently malignant. From an ecological perspective, they are exploiting available niches. This is one of the main reasons that eradication doesn’t work – because unless the niches are changed in ways that encourage native or other desired species to flourish, eradicating invasive species achieves no measurable ecological benefit.” –Tao Orion

When you see an invasive species, instead of automatically thinking of its ‘negative’ qualities, think about what it is doing in the ecosystem where it is found. Do pollinators use it? Is it controlling erosion? Start thinking less in terms of the organism and more in terms of the ecosystem that supports it. What has changed in recent history that may contribute to the proliferation of invasive species? Critical to this understanding is an acknowledgement of how indigenous land management shaped and structured ecosystems—including plant and animal population diversity and abundance—and that lack of this management has facilitated invasion processes even in areas considered ‘natural’ or ‘wild.’ Invasive species are directly related to changes in land management, from highly degraded to ecosystems to seemingly ‘pristine’ areas, and learning more about the cultural history of ecosystem management is critical to seeing invasion processes as a predictable outcome of the type and scale of these changes.” –Tao Orion

Read more here.

The Big Picture

The Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group blog is a collaborative effort. We’re happy to publish your contributions as part of this Landcare Network discussion. See the collaborate-contribute page for a range of topic suggestions or get in touch to discuss your idea.

The following is a generous contribution from Alex Televantos, a young man starting on a journey to save the world. Here, Alex recounts how he set off from his home in Canberra intending distant travel, but became unexpectedly tangled-up with Peter Andrews, finding more than enough inspiration just a short trip from his own front door.



The Big Picture

Hi. My name is Alex Televantos and I am 21 years old. I spent the year of 2014 working and saving, spending very little money and trying to become as aware of current global environmental issues as possible. At the end of the year, I quit my job and since then I have been living on the road, out of a tent, and I have been actively searching for a way to stop humanity’s downward spiral to extinction.

My first step was to leave the city. Born in Canberra, I grew up without a fundamental connection to nature (which I believe is the root of our environmental problems, incidentally), and thus I was deprived of the opportunity (that the vast majority of my ancestors have had) of observing and understanding the interactions of the natural world. If I wanted to get anywhere in terms of preserving and fostering life on Earth, I felt that I first needed to understand it. Continue reading

Natural Sequence Farming landscape rehydration project at Mulloon Creek

Peter Hazell is a longtime local landcarer and was the first Landcare Coordinator in the Upper-Shoalhaven district (sometime last century). Owing to his affable and level-headed nature, he has always been a popular contributor to the Landcare community. In-between family life and managing 1000 acres on the Mongarlowe River, plus developing his own homestead not far from Braidwood, Pete currently works as a project coordinator for the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration project. This catchment-wide project involves multiple landholders near Bungendore, NSW. It aims to implement and scientifically assess aspects of Natural Sequence Farming and has been enthusiastically embraced by the local community.

One thing Natural Sequence Farming is consistently associated with is ‘Landscape Rehydration’ using techniques which slow runoff and spread flood waters across valley-fill floodplains. I asked Pete to provide us with an overview of what might be expected from the Mulloon project and to explain how any outcomes will be scientifically monitored. Here, he discusses what this catchment-community project hopes to achieve and why.



Landscape assessment at Mulloon

by Peter Hazell

Just before Christmas Peter Andrews, some landholders, and I undertook initial onground assessment and planning work in the Mulloon watershed. Over three days we visited five properties.  We plan to do at least another 17 days over the next 6 months. Our three days out were also used to test methods for documenting discussions at each location. Continue reading