To: <>
Subject: News
From: "Kevin and Gwenyth Bray" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:04:43 +1000
I'm sure there are others with a better, more expert understanding of the mean of "endangered" in the context of "endangered [xxx]", where [xxx] could be a type of woodland, or a species of bird, or animal, or whatever the object of interest/concern is; but here's my two cents worth!
First, the terminology really only has meaning if it has so in some form of statutory instrument, so that - for example - if in the ACT there is/should be some legislative or subsidiary statutory requirement that when (by some well-defined process) a formal designation by a governmentally established body of (say) "endangered box-woodland" has been made (and defined for the purposes of the legislation, etc), then a specific action must necessarily follow (such as, for example, "no box-woodland in the ACT can be cleared" or "box woodland in the ACT may not be cleared without the written approval of the minister for [abc]", or some other "protective" action is triggered.
Normally, I would expect a formal "endangered [xxx]" designation to apply not to a specific (ie individual) thing, but rather to the class (or a well-defined subset) of all such things.  Otherwise you'd have the problem that Philip has raised, of natural or socially acceptable loss or destruction occurring. 
In other words, if the class (or a defined subset) of all box-woodland areas in the ACT (however defined) were formally declared to be "endangered", then there could be some form of statutory prohibition or other protective action required - with some level of appropriate penalty or sanction for failure to comply.
Outside of such a form of statutory management, I think the "endangered" concept is meaningless.
As a matter of interest, our son recently acquired a small rural property in NSW near Adelong, about 300 hectares in all, with the majority of it subject to a formal conservation order which would (for example) prevent the clearing or even (deliberate) partial loss of (say) any box-woodland on it.  As I understand it, the NSW government has designated such areas as subject to conservation orders as a form of "offset" for the deliberate (and legal) removal of equivalent areas of similar land/woodland in the construction of official roads.  (The turning of formerly single lane sections of the Hume Highway in southern NSW into dual carriageway in recent years has necessarily involved the clearing of considerable areas of woodland, hence the application of the "offset" in that region).
In my example, that would mean (assuming the principle of it is applied thoroughly!) that for every hectare of box-woodland destroyed to build a road, a hectare of box-woodland on otherwise private land, with no prior restriction on its use, would be designated as part of a conservation area and thus become subject to some form of protective regime.
Whether or not the practical implementation of such a regime is effective - with good enforcement - is of course another matter!
Kevin Bray
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