As part of their ‘have your say’ and also just in time for inclusion in a brief Native veg review submission, the Southern Rivers CMA has asked three questions which I’ve pasted below with responses.
Not that I think submissions and chat change things much but the NPWS and Forests NSW are a dead loss, the EPA is making the decisions about koalas and the CMA has buckets of cash to spend on them.
As far as the CMA goes, what they spend their public funds on is supposed to be part of the ‘Catchment Action Plan’ and even though the social and economic stakeholders will probably object to my suggestions, hopefully more sensible heads will prevail.
The CMA’s online community forum on the CAP is open for anyone to comment until September 17.
1 Why should we take soils more seriously and how?
Soils are our most fundamental resource and are not renewable. The ongoing decline of koalas and native vegetation confirms that soils are still degrading and a commitment to addressing this issue would demonstrate soil issues are being taken seriously.
2 What can we do in your area to build community capacity and resilience to respond to climate change impacts?
Current management of forest biomass is largely based on the notion that the original human inhabitants used ‘fire-stick’ farming everywhere, when the reality is that they only burned forests that had a grassy under-storey. The SRCMA could be working with organisations like the CSIRO and other land managers, Council, Electricity suppliers, RTA etc, to develop a facility to produce bio-char to return to the soil. The aforementioned and local landholders keen improving their soils and maintaining their native vegetation would have an option to burning, that would help improve soils and generate sustainable local employment.
3 How do you think the CMA should prioritise what we do across the region in terms of on-ground work and supporting community innovation and action?
There are concerns that some of the local on-ground work being undertaken by the SRCMA, in particular the river bank restoration attempts on the eastern side of the Murrah River bridge, may be over ambitious and not based on a full appreciation of the forces at work in the catchment.
The CMA’s support for a bio-char pilot project, aimed at a more fundamental up stream on ground approach, may provide for broader participation and the potential to increase community innovation and action.