The following is another letter written in response to the recent willow destruction activity on Monkittee Creek, just outside of Braidwood. This one was penned by Annie Duke and was sent as an open letter to the South East Local Land Services office.
To whom it may concern,
I must express my outrage and deep disappointment at the recent government funded and sanctioned environmental vandalism on Monkittee Creek, below the bridge on Little River Rd.
As a Braidwood Urban Landcare Group (BULG) member actively engaged in a non-destructive revegetation project along other parts of Braidwood’s urban waterways, I am truly stunned by this destructive willow removal. It amazes me to think how much public money has been wasted on this venture, while I and others invest hundreds of hours of under-resourced volunteer time planting and tending trees, building biodiversity and landscape resilience, without the expensive and destructive approach employed by South East Local Land Services (SELLS).
I feel great sympathy for residents who must pass by and witness this tragedy each day. As a down-stream resident I am deeply concerned about the inevitable impacts to be expected from these works with the next heavy rains and for years to come. All vegetation has been removed and the bare dirt that remains will last long into the future – especially given the current hot, dry weather retarding any recovery, even of grasses. Establishing new vegetation will be a long term venture and will require a great deal more money and resources and a long period of follow up watering to ensure any success. The lost habitat will not even begin to be replaced for at least 15 – 20 years and even longer for any useful hollows to develop. I have personally and repeatedly observed a vast range of wildlife happily using the willow-lined creeks throughout Braidwood as a home. I grieve for those creatures who inhabited this location.
I am baffled that an agency supposedly concerned with “sustainable water and vegetation management, healthy soils and biodiverse ecosystems” (from the SELLS website) has intentionally enacted so much damage to an existing and viable waterway ecosystem for no environmental gain whatever. This site, right on the edge of our town, is now a highly visible demonstration of all the wrong “how to’s”: how to degrade a landscape, how to create creek erosion and how to destroy habitat and reduce biodiversity. Perhaps I should also add the following; how to misguide landholders, and how to justify the use of expensive machines. Continue reading
South East Local Land Services officers recently began cutting down and piling up riparian willow trees from a section of Monkittee Creek, on private land, just outside of Braidwood township.
This is exactly the kind of behaviour that Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group was formed to protest. This second wave of environmental vandalism currently gripping our government agencies is no different to the deforestation incentives of the 1800’s. In the very near future it will be looked upon with intense shame and regret by anyone with an environmental conscience. I’ll provide a bit more background and context on this particular project in the near future. For now, here are three hasty photos to give some perspective of the destruction site, and a copy of Peter Marshall’s excellent letter from the Braidwood Times this week. More to follow on this.
Little River Road approaching Monkittee Creek bridge. Only the upstream willows (to the left) remaining.
Immediately upstream of the bridge. A riparian willow corridor, surrounding a stabilised and shaded series of pools.
Immediately downstream of the bridge. The previous riparian corridor habitat now lying in piles waiting to be incinerated.
Was it Einstein who said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result? On that measure LLS has become completely unhinged out on the Little River Road. Continue reading
This post represents a bit of a recap and update on where things are at.
Experienced participants/observers can skip the following background and overview if desired and go straight to the list of group/blog activity updates below.
Background and overview
Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group is a grassroots community of people who wish to improve the health, productivity and ecological well-being of Country. This is the mission of most Landcarers: ‘caring for the land‘. Our group is particularly focused upon the urban and peri-urban riparian zones within Braidwood, NSW (especially the existing plants and animals of the non-nativist forest along Flood Creek).
Flood Creek riparian vegetation
Beyond this, we also have an interest in issues that emerge in association with caring for this very ‘altered’ environment. Broadly speaking, the group has a role in examining (and hopefully reformulating) presently-dominant nativist focuses and practices in Landcare and environmentalism in Australia. Continue reading
Posted in Flood Creek, Landcare, Non-Nativism
Tagged Flood Creek, Landcare, nativism, nativist ideology, Natural Resource Management, non-destructive revegetation, NRM, Upper-Shoalhaven Landcare Council, urban creeks
Last Saturday, I took a break from fencing on the Braidwood Common and went for a half hour wander in the willow forest at Flood Creek. I walked (and crawled, and clambered) within the confines of the riparian vegetation on the southern side of the creek, and took some photos on my phone as I went. I started at about 11:30am and finished at midday as I had to get to the CRT before it closed. It was a hot and windy day in Braidwood, with a recorded maximum of 33.6 degrees C (92F), less hot under the willows, but, nevertheless, midday on a hot summer’s day.
I thought readers of the Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group blog would be interested to see what this very brief and random exploratory sample revealed. In particular I want to share some of the observations I made in regard to existing habitat value of the riparian vegetation. Continue reading
Posted in Flood Creek, Landcare, Nativist Ideology, Natural Resource Management
Tagged ecology, Flood Creek, habitat, Landcare, native fauna, nativism, Natural Resource Management, NRM, urban creeks, weeds, willow destruction, willows
Last Wednesday, Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group were privileged and delighted to be visited by David Holmgren, co-originator of the Permaculture concept. David had been in Canberra attending a panel discussion and screening of the film ‘Surviving Earth’ as well as giving a public lecture titled ‘Future Scenarios and Solutions’, a topic he discusses in his stimulating book ‘Future Scenarios’ (free to read online). In order to maximise the value of his trip to the ACT and southern tablelands region David also visited Braidwood to touch base with our group and get to know a few of the local Landcarers. Continue reading
Posted in Flood Creek, Non-Nativism, Willows
Tagged David Holmgren, Flood Creek, Landcare, non-destructive revegetation, Permaculture, public parks, urban creeks, weeds, willow destruction, willow management, willow removal, willows