Bringing the experts in the lab to the experts in the paddock to address climate adaptation.
Mudgee District Environment Group
Flaming good time at Adams Lead
On Saturday, July 27 sparks were flying as Friends of Adams Lead (FOAL) members and the RFS conducted an 'eco-burn' at this beautiful reserve near Gulgong.
Adams Lead contains mature remnants of Grassy Box Woodland which is classified as an Endangered Ecological Community!
So what was going on? Co-ordinator of FOAL Fraser Stuart has the answers.
- What is an ecological-burn?
An Ecological Burn is a burn that benefits the ecology.
This may seem counter-intuitive as fire is harmful, however Australian flora has adapted to tolerate fire and some plants even need it to reproduce - eg Banksia. Grasslands in particular benefit from a regular (every 4-8 years) fire regime.
- Why was it considered necessary to conduct a burn at Adams Lead?
The burn is a land management practice that we use in conjunction with other methods such as weeding and plantings. There were several reasons for the burn of this particular area:
* To reduce the foliage buildup from exotic plants like Paspalum which were dominating the environment.
Paspalum, if allowed to build up, presents both an ecological problem and a fire hazard.
* To trigger native seed germination. A cool winter burn does not sterilise the ground and the native seedbank remains largely intact.
* To create an opportunity to reintroduce some indigenous plants with an autumn planting.
- What area (size and location) was burnt?
The size of the burn was quite small, 30m x 12m and was near the north east corner of the reserve.
The methodology we follow is what the CSIRO would call a 'mosaic' burn where small areas are burnt in a patchwork style as this allows the fauna to relocate to a nearby area to survive while the burn area recovers.
Another benefit of the mosaic burn is should there be a fire in summer, it is much easier to control as the fuel load varies across the reserve.
- How was the burn controlled?
The burn was conducted by the RFS in accordance with their procedures.
A 3m perimeter was created around the burn area by slashing and the burn was conducted during optimal weather conditions when it was easy to contain.
The burn area was surrounded by 3 fire trucks and monitored until fully extinguished.
- What do you expect as the outcome for this plant community?
Based on previous burns we expect:
- Trees to re-sprout immediately
- Native grasses and forbs to germinate after the first spring rain event
- Exotic grasses and weeds to be suppressed for at least 3 years
- How can others get involved in caring for this valuable place?
Perhaps the best way to find out more about Adams Lead is to come down to one of our working bees and check out the reserve and what we do.
We meet on the first Saturday of the month from 8:30am till 12:30pm.
FOAL is a sub-group of Mudgee District Environment Group (MDEG). More information: http://mdeg.org.au/ Contact: 0427 920 887.
Bringing the experts in the lab to the experts in the paddock to address climate adaptation
Farmers in our region have an opportunity to learn from the experts how to effectively manage the risks, and reap the rewards, posed by increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and higher frequency severe weather events.
The Risks and Rewards of Farming in a Changing Climate conference, hosted by Farmers for Climate Action, will be held in Orange on Tuesday, September 10.
The conference aims to increase resilience and the adoption of climate smart agricultural practices among primary producers in NSW Central West region.
The conference will cover topics such as changing biosecurity risks, increasing heat stress on crops and livestock, reduced water security, disruption to supply chains and the erosion of natural and social capital and will bring together experts from various fields to provide evidence based information on how to address these risks and take advantage of opportunities.
Guardian journalist, Gabrielle Chan, will be MC and the speaker line-up includes:
- Dr Lynette Bettio, Bureau of Meteorology;
- Dr Steve Crimp, Australian National University; Associate Professor
- Jacki Schirmer, University of Canberra;
- Doug McNicholl, Meat and Livestock Australia;
- Ben Keogh, Australian Carbon Farmers;
- Lorraine Gordon, Regenerative Agriculture Alliance;
- Cathy Waters, NSW Department of Primary Industries;
- Ryan Gale, MinterEllison;
- John Angus, CSIRO;
- Charlie Prell, Farmers for Climate Action;
- Dr Peter Ampt, Sydney University;
- Paul Ryan, Australian Resilience Centre;
- Guy Webb - SoilCQuest 2031.
The conference keynote speakers will be Richard Heath, Australian Farm Institute Executive Director and Richard Bull, former Nationals NSW MP and NSW Local Land Services Board Chair of Chairs.
There will also be panel discussions covering managing carbon in the landscape, technology and innovation as well as farming systems and resilience.
The Risks and Rewards of Farming in a Changing Climate conference will be held at the Orange Ex-Services Club on Tuesday, September 10 from 8am to 7:30pm. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased from: www.farmersforclimateaction.org.au/orange_conference.
For more information contact Peter Holding: Peter@farmersforclimateaction.org.au.