For those following this story of riparian destruction from afar, Peter Marshall’s and Annie Duke’s insightful letters to our local paper (The Braidwood Times) drew an official press release from South East Local Land Services (BT 23/3/16). I’m now posting this SELLS response along with the excellent counter responses from Peter and Annie, both published in the BT of 30/3/16. For brevity, I won’t be commenting, although I have inserted some illustrative images for those unable to see the site for themselves.
“Monkittee Creek Willow Removal Works” (from BT 23/3/16)
South East Local Land Services has recently received inquiries from members of the community about remediation works currently being undertaken on private land which has included the removal of willows along a 380 meter stretch of the Monkittee Creek outside of Braidwood.
Acting Manager Land Services (Tablelands), Aaron Smith said Local Land Services was approached by the land manager about erosion on the site which has resulted in the project works.
“Mature willows which had previously provided protection to the stream bed and bank were becoming increasingly dense and have contributed to the erosion issues on site,” Mr Smith said.
“Erosion was exacerbated by the willows dropping limbs falling in stream and choking the channel this has led to significant flow diversions within the creek resulting in the creek widening and the bed lowering.
“Canopy closure had reduced sunlight penetration and vegetation growth around the willows further compromising the stability of the stream bank.
“South East Local Land Services understands that some members of the community would be concerned about the loss of natural and aesthetic values. It has been necessary to remove these willows because of erosion, their age and position instream.