Don’t forget the fires (poem)

Lesley Hodges

Don’t forget the fires when it’s cool and moist and starts to rain.
The monster’s only sleeping – don’t treat it with disdain.
We’re feeding it with Carbon,
It will rise and come again.

Don’t forget the terror, lost lives and property,
The trauma and the worry. Thank God for our community.
Don’t forget the billion native animals that used to bless our land.
Those animals left; they need us; we must also give them a hand.

Climate change is real, my friend. It’s showed its teeth this year.
Through floods and ice and mighty fires,
While we had to watch in fear.
Beaches are growing smaller, Pacific islands bear her wrath.
Rivers stopping running and the fish can only gasp.

You can keep on denying. Why not? You say we need our coal.
And gas and fracking and all that stuff.  But they’re doing harm to all.
Still, you want to live the same old way; stay all nice and comfortable.
You don’t want to change a thing – that is what I’m told.

But surely, for our children’s sake, it’s time for something new. 
We could reduce our emissions with a decent strategy or two.
Our economy will benefit if we only play it right,
Instead of losing money from the drought and flood and fire.

We could be a leader to the world –
One that sends a needed voice.
It’s time to make some changes.
It’s time to make the choice.

Bushfire Inquiries: Reports and Analysis

George Punt, NPA Park Management Committee

NPA recently made submissions to the two major inquiries into the Black Summer bushfires. The inquiries are largely a thoughtful reflection on the ‘Black Summer’ fires and make sound suggestions about managing fires given the impacts of global warming. NPA will need to monitor how these suggestions are implemented. The inquiries note that the impulse to escalate controlled burning and other measures in national parks remains a strong theme in public discussions.

Crowdy Bay Recovers

Sue Baker, Mid North Coast Branch of NPA

If I was ever asked what is the greatest miracle that I have witnessed in my life, the answer would be the post-fire regeneration in Crowdy Bay NP. Earlier in the year I wrote an article for the journal describing the sickening devastation, the deathly silence and lack of life in the park, 84% of which was burnt last November including the most precious patches of littoral rainforest.

Confusion reigns after reported changes to tree removal laws

The National Parks Association of NSW has called for confirmation that the NSW Government won’t remove essential protections for urban bushland following the Australian’s release of leaked Cabinet documents.  

Regrow Rewild Update

Stephanie Clark, NPA Citizen Science Officer

We have been busy in the planning stages of Regrow Rewild. The main objectives of the project will be to examine a statewide selection of fire refugia to document the extent to which they are functioning as ‘biodiversity arks’. These sites are important as they offer the best hope for the survival of the many species that have been pushed to the edge of extinction by the 2019/20 bushfires.

Bushfire Impacts in the South-East Forests

Kim Taysom, Far South Coast Branch

The South East Forests National Park (the Park) straddles the Bega Valley and Snowy Monaro Shires and comprises around 130,000 hectares of escarpment forests inland from Eden, Merimbula and Bega. 

In terms of area burnt, the recent fires are unprecedented.  The Bega Valley Shire had 58% of its area burnt, with the forested areas being the hardest hit.  To put this in historical context, past fires which have burnt 10% of a shire’s area have been deemed significant events.