National Park issues

December 21: On ABC radio this morning, Regional Manager of National Parks Mr Tim Shepard mentioned how Wadbilliga has had to be closed due to ‘dangerous trees’, no details were provided, and a closed road somewhere due to a landslip. A few weeks ago Mr Shepard suggested that the rain earlier this year, responsible for the road closure, had occurred during a ‘one in 10 year’ rainfall event. There have in fact been several ‘one in 10 year’ rainfall events during the past decade and this claim suggests the NPWS uses the same dodgy ideas about rainfall that FNSW employs. It seem likely that the ‘dangerous trees’ are also associated with rainfall and the lack of it but, an understanding these issues is not part of any public forest management.

  1. A lot is going on on deforestation. What about areas like those involved in the Box Gum Grassy Woodland (BGGW) on the Southern Tablelands where landholders are restoring the pristine environment and planting more threes. Why don’t plant koala trees there (the yellow box of the BGGW assemblage is a secondary tree) and let Koala be transferred under supervision to these areas?

  2. Koalas require trees that provide them with enough water and nutrients to survive, dieback is a sign of reduced soil fertility because the trees cannot get enough water and nutrients to survive. Currently there is only one place in NSW where koalas have used planted trees, around Gunnadah.

    I’m not exactly sure where on the Southern Tablelands you’re referring to Gianni but the koalas between Cooma and Bredbo were transferred there and due to lack of nutrients they eat tree bark and eventually ringbark the trees. Unlike coastal koalas where numbers are declining, the transferred koalas do not have chlamydia, so their numbers are increasing.

    These comments are not a criticism of tree planting on private land, just whether koalas will use them.

    • Hi!
      My property Dalton Park is just east of Dalton near Gunning. It is a hilly place. National park to the north. Of course conditions have to be suitable and I asked since I don’t know if planting some tree species would help in the future. They were here many years ago.

      • Hi Gianni sorry for the delay getting back to you. According to Chris Allen’s senate submission, link below, the closest koalas to you are the ‘southern highlands’ population some seventy kilometers to the east and there are a few records about 20 kl to the west in a NP.

        I don’t have much info for that area, but I expect like here it is the reduction of soil fertility that has reduced koala numbers. Adding biochar to the soil is proposed to help address this, but requires an integrated approach to biomass management.

        However, growing trees is a long term thing and if the land is cleared and had cows on it, initial plantings are proposed to be mainly ‘pioneer’ species like wattles that improve the soil, generally don’t live too long and can give an indication of soil fertility in any given area based on their growth rates.



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