Weekly Times front page- "Plains Blunderer"

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Subject: Weekly Times front page- "Plains Blunderer"
From: "Simon Starr" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 22:17:07 +1100
Hi all,


In this week's Weekly Times, Wed 14th, the front page reads "Plains
Blunderer- Lock-it-and-leave policy debunked as sheep graze a national park
to save the Plains Wanderer "


The article opens the lid on the fact that since the acquisition of  more
than 11,000 ha of farmland in Northern Victoria by federal and state
governments as well as by private environmental groups over the last 20
years, to protect native grasslands and the associated threatened species,
the reduction in grazing, and lack of response to the recent wetter years,
have led to a situation where the Plains Wanderer has virtually been
completely eliminated from the now protected areas. In my opinion the dense
grass growth has also crowded out many wildflowers.


The population in Victoria has crashed, and remaining birds seem largely
confined to regularly grazed private grasslands, some of those being
landholders who did not want to sell their native grasslands.


The grassland reserves are certainly now protected from being
ploughed/cropped, but when it comes to managing grasslands there are
different ideas on how to do it !


It appears that there is now a realization amongst the powers that be, that
these birds, and other threatened species have been badly affected due to
poor management on the reserves.

There are many good people working to improve the situation which gives me
great hope that in the future the dire situation for the Plains Wanderer
will be reversed. However it will require suitable funding to make it work,
and in the current climate it is a worry that adequate funds will not be
allocated to managing what is now a very large area of the northern plains.


The Weekly Times article will certainly reinforce some attitudes in rural
areas, that "greenies" do not know how to manage the land. Having lived and
worked on the land, I think that both sides of the argument have something
to learn from the other. 


Grassland conservation in the Riverina is still a relatively new exercise,
so these experiences will no doubt help the process into the future.




Simon Starr,

PS the article does not seem to be available online, but the paper should
still be available tomorrow/Tuesday.










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