A study of the conservation benefits of indigenous Australian land manag

To: Laurie Knight <>
Subject: A study of the conservation benefits of indigenous Australian land manag
From: John Weigel <>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:42:20 +1000
Hi Laurie, 

You are right about confusion of the issue. I mistakenly thought you were 
supportive of the current fire regime which is implemented in large part from 
advice of the traditional owners. 

Whilst the traditional burning processes must have had a drastic impact on the 
landscape they colonised, we have apparently had a stable and balanced 
environmental scenario at the time of European settlement. The current ravaging 
of Kakadu is defended by the managers of this World Heritage resource as being 
in keeping with traditional practices. This is the 'other side' I was 
mistakenly identifying in my post.

Sorry about that!

Best wishes,
John Weigel AM
Australian Reptile Park
PO 737 Gosford NSW 2250
(02) 4340 1022

On 13/08/2014, at 9:10 AM, Laurie Knight <> wrote:

> G’day John
> What is the "other side”?   You are confusing the current fire regime with 
> traditional indigenous land management, which was the subject of my original 
> post.
> The point you are trying to make is that current fire management is 
> inappropriate.  That is a totally different matter.
> Regards, Laurie.
> On 13 Aug 2014, at 8:57 am, John Weigel <> wrote:
>> G'day Laurie,
>> With the utmost respect, on this issue, I've got to take the other side of 
>> this important conservation crisis, and suggest that if you haven't visited 
>> Kakadu in the past five or six years, you might be in for a shock when you 
>> next search for ground-dwelling fauna of any sort - particularly reptiles 
>> and small mammals. It would be hard to find a burn scar less than 10-fold 
>> the figure you have quoted. In fact, it can be a challenge to find an area 
>> that size that HASN'T been burned in past few years. Instead of a 'mosaic' 
>> approach based on allowing proper maturing of the rapidly receding spinifex 
>> habitats to reach maturity, the current management process in Kakadu is to 
>> apply 'mosaic' burns to any areas that have been spared far less time than 
>> required to see return of complex ecologies including long-lived reptiles 
>> (and presumably grass wrens). In short, the traditional burning by nomadic 
>> tribes was not assisted by Cessna 'blanket' fire-drops, Toyotas and 
>> automatic lighters. 
>> Content preview:  G?day Martin Are you suggesting that Aborigines haven?t 
>> been
>>    lighting fires at Kakadu for thousands of years or that traditional fires
>>    are hot burns? You might like to read the article. The point of the 
>> article
>>    is that "Martu-set fires average about 10 acres -- a small fraction of the
>>    size of fires ignited by lightning ... that patchy vegetation created by
>>   intentional fires reduce the likelihood of devastating, large blazes.? 
>> [...]
>> Content analysis details:   (-2.6 points, 5.0 required)
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>> --------------------------------------------------
>> -0.0 RCVD_IN_DNSWL_NONE     RBL: Sender listed at 
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>> -1.9 BAYES_00               BODY: Bayes spam probability is 0 to 1%
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>> X-Spam-Flag: NO
>> X-Mailman-Approved-At: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:32:30 -0400
>> Subject: A study of the conservation benefits of
>>        indigenous Australian land management practices
>> X-BeenThere: 
>> X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.15
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>> John Weigel AM
>> Australian Reptile Park
>> PO 737 Gosford NSW 2250
>> (02) 4340 1022
>> <image001.jpg>

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