Re: birding-aus Friends of the Elm??? - Why not Friends of the Fox

To: Nigel Sterpin <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Friends of the Elm??? - Why not Friends of the Fox
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 22:53:58 +1000
Nigel Sterpin wrote:
> Do people know of a group called Friends of the Elm in Melbourne? Did
> you know they are trying to get Barry Humphries on side as
> spokesperson, due to the lack of action by the Government over the
> destruction of these trees by the Elm Beetle?
> Uroo, Nigel Sterpin
> email: 
Dear Nigel - while not wild about exotics, let us remember that in
Europe and Britain the Elm tree is now just about extinct, thanks to the
ravages of the Elm Bark Beetle.  This is a tremendous loss to their
landscapes and cities.  I don't want to see too many Elms in the
Australian countryside, but the avenues of elmtrees in the City parks
and along, for example, Royal Parade, are the perfect complement for
Victorian terrace architecture. Besides, Sacred Kingfishers and owls
nest in their hollows in the Fitroy and Treasury Gardens, plus possums!
  Please don't be too chauvinistic. And shouldn't we be glad to offer
some refuge to a few creatures, now severely endangered in their
homelands? such as the Hog Deer in Gippsland and the Banteng Cattle of
Arnhem Land (a genuine rare species, and ours are far less mixed with
domestic cattle than any now surviving in Asia).  
  Melbourne is just about the last city in the world to have its
nineteenth century avenues of elmtrees.  Their historic value is great.
  I have spent a lot of time lately in the Appeals Tribunal, trying to
protect eucalypts from developers and destruction, when I'd much rather
be birding. But I can enjoy exotic streetscapes too. And I'm just as
anti fox, rabbit and buffalo as you are.
   Anthea Fleming
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