Closed outback areas

Subject: Closed outback areas
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 07:01:44 +0800
At 08:07  24/09/00 +1000, Terry Pacey wrote:
I presume Tony and Michael do not mean that Birds Australia should be 
making approaches to the relevant bodies for permission to enter land for
"tickers".  Ornithological study groups would seek permission in the first
place and I very much doubt they would be refused entry if they could show
that they would act in a responsible manner.

Why shouldn't Birds Australia make approaches for "tickers"?  They are 
members of Birds Australia.

I get sick of people lumping "tickers" in the red neck brigade!!  In my 
experience the people I would call tickers have contributed the most to 
the knowledge of birds.  They publish papers, they note bird behaviour, 
they assist others, they support their local organisations, they support 
their local sites, they contribute to tourism, ........  Take a look at 
Tony Palliser's web site and look at the people on the Birders Totals 
page.  I could not name anyone who is not responsible, and I have met a 
large number of them.

Perhaps the pastoralists and graziers don't want people seeing the 
devastation done to large areas of Australia due to overgrazing and poor 
land management.  But of course I am generalising and laying the sins of 
the worst on all pastoralists and graziers.

I believe that everyone should have access to leasehold areas.  Certainly 
you should let the lessee know beforehand so that they can inform you that 
the roads are wet, or that mustering is in progress, or that contractors 
are shooting feral goats / pigs and don't enter those areas for own 
safety.  Certainly you should follow the rules for all land and leave 
gates as they are, don't light open fires, remove all your rubbish, etc.  
But the lessee should not be able to refuse you the right of entry.

It is a stroke of the pen on the map that often includes many natural 
sites on leasehold (or freehold) land.  Maybe these sites should be 
excised from these areas.  I have been to Koonchera sand dunes.  It is an 
area that should be fenced of from grazing animals and preserved.  There 
are sufficient bores, etc for these animals.  Animals able to get to the 
lignum swamp would very likely get stuck in the mud and perish, and so it 
is in the pastoralists advantage to fence these areas off.

I know that in Broome Western Australia, areas such as Lake Eda have been 
fenced off from cattle.

As Tony Russell and others have said (and in my experience) nearly every 
pastoralist and grazier is happy to grant permission, so in practice 
enabling access by law would lead to very little change.

So yes, I do believe that Birds Australia is the most appropriate body to 
make approaches to the relevant bodies to ensure that access is available 
to sites such as Koonchera.


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