Last year the OE&H suggested they were going to release their management plan for the Murrah Flora Reserve, in the middle of this year. Now six months on and with the festive season looming, it seems unlikely the plan will appear this year. While there may be several reasons for the delay, it is possible one of these is connected to the restructure of the NPSW and the recommendations of a report titled ‘Management of public land in NSW.’
The report was produced by the General purpose standing committee No.5, for the NSW Legislative Council in 2013. It suggests ” . . . that reservation is not the only means to protect biodiversity and that conservation outcomes can be achieved alongside other land uses. The Committee therefore recommends that there be investigation into the wider application of the multiple land-use model in public land management in New South Wales (Recommendation 1.2) in recognition that public lands can be managed for a range of purposes while achieving the best conservation outcomes for that land.”
Of course apart from National Parks, logging is only other use for public forests.
The report also indicates ” . . . The Inquiry also heard evidence that effective conservation management and planning is best done with a tenure-blind approach, working to improve natural vegetation corridors and ecological health across the landscape.” It goes on to recommend starting a nil or blind tenure approach ” . . . beginning with fire, pests and weeds and conservation management, to ensure consistency and improved land management outcomes for both public and private land managers. ”
The only issue is whether the current approach, in a different and one assumes cheaper format, will lead to improved land management outcomes.
When it comes to koalas, all the evidence confirms past and present management is essentially aimed at deforestation and species extinction. So while I expect no change in the NSW government’s approach, the Regional Forest Agreements were supposed to usher in some accountability.
Forestry were supposed to have a forest inventory, but they haven’t. Similarly the NPWS should be required to demonstrate its broad acre burning leads to improved outcomes, as opposed to an increased threat of wildfire.
Apart from threatening humans, the cost associated with current fire management include the loss of many species, like the large stick insect (Ctenomorpha chronus) in the photo.
Thankfully this one survived physical thinning of forest oaks, although the outcome from burning would have been a barbecued stick insect, all other insect and any koalas in the area.