Land clearing

Subject: Land clearing
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 12:15:15 +1000
A lot of positive thoughts are emerging from the discussion regarding land
clearing.  Several people have stressed that it is far better to prevent
land clearing than plant more trees to compensate.  I'm sure everyone would
agree and this should be the approach in areas where land clearing is still
occurring.  But lets cast our minds back to the beginning of this

My recollection is that it started with a discussion of Barking Owls which
led to endangered woodland species and then the cause for the decline of
these species. At least I think that's how it developed.  Did it all start
with dueting birds?

My point now would be that we can't ignore the value of, and extreme need
for, revegetation projects in areas of the wheat/sheep belt of
south-eastern Australia.  Many of these areas were cleared over a century
ago and landholders are now paying the price of a "degradation debt" that
has accrued over several generations.  It is these areas that have suffered
the greatest decline in biodiversity with numerous local extinctions.  It
is also these areas that are occupied by landholders that are, often,
prepared to do something about it if the assistance required is provided.
In northern Australia many landholders are still labouring under the old
"there's more of this further out" attitude.  It would appear that people
will only learn through their own experiences.

A two pronged approach is needed.  Reduce the amount of unnecessary
clearing where it is occurring in order to prevent more species going into
decline while repairing those areas that were cleared in the past in an
effect to shore up what we have left in these very fragmented habitats.

Incidentally, like to do something really positive about all this.  Two
tree planting weekends are planned for the weekends of 8/9 and 22/23 August
at Lurg (two and half hours from Melbourne).  The plan is to get 25 000
trees into the ground, primarily to restore Regent Honeyeater and
Grey-crowned Babbler habitat.  This will supplement the 35 000 trees
planted over the past couple of years.  Free accommodation, BBQ and wool
shed dance for those not to tired from an honest days work.  Also a great
opportunity to meet landholders who are prepared to actually do something.
Contact Ray Thomas (03) 57 612 612 work or (03) 57 224 649 after hours.

Lets show just how dedicated birding-auser's are about doing something for
our birds!

David Geering

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