Ever since he watched the ABC TV series ‘Two Men in a Tinny’, in which celebrated scientist and author Dr Tim Flannery and comedian John Doyle advocated for nation-wide willow eradication, Peter Marshall has been trying persistently to contact Dr Flannery to canvass an alternative approach.
Recently, Peter was delighted to receive a reply from Dr Flannery along with a request for further information. Dr Flannery said he’d be interested to learn about Peter’s work and asked if the willows are ever removed after they’ve done their job holding banks together.
Peter CC’d me into his reply and invited me to respond with an outline of what Non-Nativist Landcare is about and what we’re hoping to achieve. After some encouragement, I’m posting my response here for others to consider. We’re yet to receive further correspondence from Dr Flannery who is undoubtedly a very busy individual, but we live in hope he has read what we sent, and will consider it.
What follows is a simple cut and paste of my email, sent to Dr Flannery and Peter Marshall. I know it’s lengthy and might be a bit heavy, but I wasn’t going to waste time on small talk.
Thanks for your kind introduction Peter. Sorry to be so slow to respond, I have had a number of pressing tasks to complete recently.
Dr Flannery, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to write to you. Peter has asked that I outline our thinking and operations (quite a task). I will try to keep what I have to say relatively brief, though this will be difficult.
My educational background is a Bachelor’s degree in ‘Ecological Agriculture’ from CSU. I have since completed a B.Sci(Hons) year looking at natural repair processes within incised swampy meadows. I’m currently pursuing further study at ANU in biological anthropology. In approaching agriculture from an ecological perspective we learn to take a functional approach to agroecosystems and to ourselves (as humans) and our place in this biosphere. It’s odd, but for many people, the word ‘ecological’ simply means ‘natural’; so agriculture and humans are believed to exist somehow outside of, or beyond, ecological processes. This is clearly not the reality of our situation here on Earth, as you have expertly documented (several times). Continue reading
Posted in Flood Creek, Landcare, Nativist Ideology, Natural Resource Management, Willows
Tagged ecological function, ecology, Flood Creek, habitat, Landcare, nativism, nativist ideology, Natural Resource Management, non-destructive revegetation, weed response, weeds, willow management, willows
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
The following post is a reprint of an article published in our local “Landcare Perspective” which is a newsletter put out by the Upper-Shoalhaven Landcare Council (a district level Landcare association, or ‘DLA’). The post was prompted by the article shown below, which appeared in the Winter-Spring 2014 edition of the Perspective….
The Bank Job Article from the Upper-Shoalhaven Landcare Perspective
….and, to a lesser extent by this ‘placestories’ video, which is also about ‘the Bank Job’ project.
The most stimulating aspect of these reports about ‘the Bank Job’ was that they both repeatedly blamed a single willow for causing the 10m deep incision that it was growing at the bottom of! No other causes were ever mentioned. Continue reading
Posted in Landcare, Nativist Ideology, Non-Nativism, Willows
Tagged Erosion, erosion prevention, fish habitat, incision, Landcare, Landscape function, nativism, nativist ideology, Natural Resource Management, natural sequence farming, NRM, river dynamics, The Landcare Perspective, Upper-Shoalhaven Landcare Council, Upper-Shoalhaven Landcare Perspective, war on weeds, weeds, willow destruction, willows
It will no doubt become a recurring theme of Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare to point out the limited perspectives informing destructive nativist activities in Australia (and elsewhere). These perspectives are dominated by such a narrow form of Ecology that they are effectively a reductionist science (anathema to a broader Ecological epistemology and understanding).
‘Natural Ecology’, as it’s widely practiced by professional and lay-ecologists in environmental groups and NRM bureaucracies, has become simply a “science” of naming, categorising, and compiling inventories, of species. So much so that these preoccupations often substitute for any real knowledge of how bio-physical systems actually function.
Posted in Nativist Ideology, Willows
Tagged canberra, confusion, ecology, fish habitat, habitat, nativism, nativist ideology, nature, public parks, war on weeds, water birds, weeding, weeds, willow destruction, willow removal, 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