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. 

How private conservation is assisting our burnt bush

Sharon Fulcher, Owner of Two Rivers Catchment Reserve

This a story of devastating fires. Fires that have impacted personal life, communities and our natural environment, the silent casualties – plants and animals.

Crowdy Bay Bush Regen Site Devastated by Fire

Sue Baker, Mid North Coast Branch

This time last year we were celebrating 40 years of bush regeneration work by the Mid North Coast Branch at Crowdy Bay. In December 2019 the area was hit by devastating fires, which also destroyed the new hut facilities at Kylie’s Beach. There is, however, good to come from the ashes. This year’s bush regen camp will be able to make a strong impact on previously difficult to access weed infestations.

The following article first appeared in the Mod North Coast Branch newsletter. This version has additions from Sue Baker.

The bits that didn’t burn -NSW’s unburnt parks as biodiversity arks

Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer, National Parks Association of NSW

Fire has played a central role in human history, an essential part of the tool kit that enabled a naked ape to spread across the globe. We are all linked by our individual experiences of fire, from an infant’s wonder to the shared pleasure of sitting around a campfire. Fire has influenced human history far beyond our individual experiences. In Australia, more so than anywhere else in the world, fire has shaped the landscape, vegetation communities and species. The arrival of humanity on this continent coincided with a sharp increase in fire frequency and a broad trend towards more fire tolerant vegetation types.

Smokescreen

Ian Brown, Environmental consultant and former national park manager (6 December 2019)

Note: an earlier version of this article first appeared in the Colong Bulletin no. 277, December 2019

As I write (on 6 December), fires in the north and south of the Blue Mountains are merging into mega-fires, driven by severe dryness, strong winds and parched air. Forty per cent of the million-hectare Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area has burnt so far. Millions of people are smothering in smoke. North-eastern NSW has already seen devastation. The NSW toll stands at six lives, more than 500 houses and over two million hectares. Already. Numerous wilderness areas and conservation reserves have been impacted, with many national parks burnt completely. Key koala populations have been decimated and ancient rainforests burnt (at least their edges and at ground level). There is no doubt this is the biggest fire season in the recorded (white) history of the state. And it will get worse before it rains.