A small victory this week with Bega Shire councilors voting 5 to 4 vote against the ‘Bermagui Field and Game’ shotgun club’s proposed training day on the basis of too much noise and lead,. Makes one wonder how they could have approved the club in the first place and why Council loaned them $30,000 to buy the land.
More predicable was the less than supportive response to the EPA’s proposals to burn native forest biomass from several people in yesterday’s Bega District News letters to the editor, apparently written prior to the release of the draft regulation.
Tony Hastings from Tathra wrote “In the BDN (19/7), EPA chairman Barry Buffier claims that proposals to burn logging waste for power will be sourced from the material currently being burned in-situ or left on the forest floor.” which he did. Problem is the regulation is a bit ambiguous as it says ‘does not include the following: (a) any part of a saw log, pulp wood log or tree stump’ but then seemingly includes ‘pulp wood logs and heads and off-cuts’ as material left on the forest floor.
About 50% of the volume cut down is left on the forest floor to be, as Tony points out, ‘burned to promote regeneration’. The problem here being that only those species which regenerate after fire are likely to grow back, like Silver-top Ash and Allocasuarina. So if this ‘ash-bed’ is greatly reduced chances are regeneration of eucalyptus trees will be further reduced.
Talking of trees Tony writes “Their roots hold the soil together and prevent erosion.” and ‘They provide food and habitat for fauna’. which is a common perception but not quite correct because while trees provide food and habitat for fauna, it is the fauna or lack of them, that have the greatest influnce of soil erosion and dispersion potential.
On that subject, comments on the proposed Dignams Creek realignment Review of Environmental Factors are due on Monday and although the intention was to keep it small, they ended up at 19Mb, still only 10% the size of the REF though.
In contrast to the REF conclusions I’ve proposed that a Species Impact Statement is required for koalas and in addition to the potential indirect threats to people, one of the issues is the large volume of gravel in Blind Creek. Checking out the catchment resulted in the photo below of a NPWS road that passes through Blind creek, without any obvious runoffs or other erosion mitigation measures. The exact purpose of the road is unclear, but if pollution from the re-alignment is a problem a bigger one would be trying to separate NPWS pollution from what the RMS will create.