The new strain of environmental politics & shutting the gates

After a delay due to rain, the Bega District News recently reported on the rescheduled World Environment Day dinner. Speaking at the occasion was former labour politician, Bob Debus.

According to the report Bob reckons “ . . . We’ve taken too much from the earth and given back too little, it’s time to say enough is enough.” He also expressed concerns that “. . . the new brand of conservatism, neoconservatism or neoliberalism, was overtly hostile to nature conservation and that was the origin of a new strain of environmental politics.” 

Co-incidentally Bob Debus was NSW environment minister when we received funding for the Murrah-Bunga koala recovery project. So it’s difficult not to agree with his assessment and add some associated concerns.

One of these is the OE&H decision to abandon attempts to restore grassy Forest red gum ecosystems on private land. So it seems timely to report on the forest red gum I placed bio-char around back in late 2014.

Technical difficulties have precluded an updated photo, but since the snap below the tree has moved from immature to mature leaves, has maintained growth throughout the year, increased its diameter by 47mm and put on a couple of metres in height.

Significant public funds have been spent on koala projects over the past five years. The fact that very little information is available  on these projects and the OE&H has no interest in local experience, seems to confirm it represents this new strain of environmental politics.

redgum

A couple of weeks ago I closed the wombat gates (n=17) on the southern and most of the western and eastern sides of the exclosure area. The intention was to see if wombats required more access points.

To date, bless them, only one more gate has been required, although a few more will be needed for fuel reduction and other forest restoration activities.

So attention is now focused on the last bits. These require satisfying human requirements, along with swamp wallabies, although both seem easier nuts to crack, so to speak, than the OE&H.

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