"They CHOOSE to farm. When I have children, I will teach them very early on
that other people aren't going to wipe their backside for them."
I was going to sit back and watch this thread slide by. I recall that last
year a thread on land clearing and revegetation went on for ages with very
little consensus reached.
The above comment just drives home the chasm between many city people and
those in the country. This was something that for a long time I, as a
country lad, thought was a beat-up but I now realise, to my horror, that it
is real. Little wonder that country people are suspicious when approached
about conservation issues. It has taken five years to overcome this in the
Capertee Valley where many landholders are now actively doing things that
will really benefit woodland fauna (with funding assistance from the local
Regent Honeyeater Operations Group). The same picture is repeated in the
Lurg area of NE Victoria and elsewhere across the country where
conservation groups are taking the time and effort to understand where
farmers are coming from. The Superb Parrot project is another very good
How about not tarring every farmer with the same brush. Yes, there are
some out there that couldn't give a stuff but I think they are in the
minority. There are renegade twitchers out there that give birdwatching a
bad name (it has taken years to repair damage caused by a few in the
Capertee Valley, for example) but we don't except that this is the norm.
Many farmers just don't have the resources that we would like to see put
into conservation on their properties. In many cases they would like to
see it as well, if only to arrest land management issues such as tree
dieback, salinity and soil erosion that they have inherited. Times, and
attitudes, ARE changing. Many farmers are struggling to survive, taking
jobs off-farm to do so. To say that they choose to farm shows no
comprehension of the real situation. Many have no choice. What are they
to do, move to the city and live on unemployment benefits? For others the
lifestyle offsets the trials faced, just as some of us may have made
decisions to live where we live.
It's perfectly fine to state an opinion and be concerned about what is
happening out there. We should be concerned! By all means lobby hard to
stop this habitat clearing, but please make sure of your facts before
spouting off and making personal attacks on a group of whom you have no
understanding. An informed argument will be listened to before an emotive
For those who are really serious about the conservation of our birds, why
not get of your backsides and do something about it. There are dozens of
projects out there right across Australia that are crying out for
volunteers to help. The Threatened Bird Network at Birds Australia (phone
03 9882 2622, fax 03 9882 2677, email will
put you in touch with them.
Glad I got that off my chest.
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