Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
Phone: 02 62.. ....
Mr David Rowe
Yass Valley Shire Council
PO Box 6
YASS NSW 2582
Dear Mr Rowe
Friends of Grasslands (FoG) wishes to provide comments on the draft Murrumbateman Bush Cemetery Landscape Development Plan, made available for comment by Council in March 2007. FoG is pleased that Council is taking steps to provide for long term conservation management of the site.
FoG is a non-profit organisation incorporated in the ACT and dedicated to supporting threatened grassy ecosystems in south-east Australia, such as grassy woodlands, including through:
providing a range of services to members/stakeholders, including flora surveys and identifying appropriate management
on-ground work – for example FoG has established, with Cooma Monaro Shire Council, the Old Cooma Common Grassland Reserve, and has improved the quality of the remnant grassland there through weeding and other work
a varied program of activities to promote understanding of grassy ecosystems, and
dissemination of information.
FoG has over 200 members, most from the ACT and SE NSW, including professional ecologists and others associated with natural resource management sciences, farmers, landowners and managers, members of Landcare and Parkcare groups, and dedicated conservationists.
You may be aware that FoG members surveyed plants at the Cemetery site in late October 2006. FoG had been asked by the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation to undertake the survey to assist in the preparation of a management plan. FoG's view is that the Cemetery has superb woodlands and secondary grasslands: despite the drought it put on a wonderful wildflower display. FoG understands that the Cemetery is an important woodland bird refuge, e.g. for the superb parrot, and habitat for other threatened wildlife e.g. the golden sun moth.
After the survey, FoG met with the local Landcare group and Cemetery Trust on site. Members were very interested to: learn about the vegetation communities present, and the importance of the cemetery as remnant vegetation and habitat; see examples of the significant grasses and forbs; and discuss suitable conservation management practices. FoG was keen to communicate that the natural values of the site alone make a visit to this community facility worthwhile.
FoG's comments on the draft Plan are as follows.
- The use of native plants in landscaping is supported. However, species choice should be based on the local flora, i.e. box gum woodland species, with propagation material preferably sourced locally.
- Any site works, e.g. the pathway, should avoid the less disturbed native vegetation on site.
- Landscaping and planting should be as simple as possible to avoid site hardening and detracting from its naturalness, and sensitive to the site's significance.
- Species selection and site works should be overseen by DEC as the NSW agency with responsibility for protecting significant remnant vegetation.
Thank you for allowing FoG to provide a slightly late submission on the draft Plan.
2 April 2007