Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
Attention: Ms Jessica Lamb
Mr Gary Rake
National Capital Authority
GPO Box 373
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Dear Mr Rake
Management of trees on national lands
We write to suggest additional tree removals and replacements in proposed NCA programs to manage trees on national lands, as outlined in the NCA’s referral for removal of trees on national land of 24 October 2009 (2009/5204) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. In your referral you mention:
a) “The proposed tree removals represent the first phase of a larger, longer-term tree management strategy for trees on National lands.”; and
b) “The NCA will make a subsequent referral [to DEWHA] concerning replacement of the trees to be removed.”
In addition to the NCA’s work to enhance public safety and replace trees nearing the ends of their lives, FOG is concerned that a number of existing trees in Stirling Park and Yarramundi Reach are inappropriately located and impacting on the natural heritage values of your lands. Controlling the impact of many of these trees has been adopted as management actions in the NCA’s 2009 Conservation Management Plans. For example:
- A large firethorn hedge by the Howie’s Hut site in Stirling Park appears to be a major source of weed infestation.
- Desert Ash and Chinese Pistachio trees near the Westlake site are key sources of weed invasion in Stirling Park.
- Exotic trees along the lake at Attunga Point overshadow and impact on the fenced population of endangered Button Wrinkle Wort at Attunga Point.
- Exotic trees along the lake at Yarramundi Reach are in very poor condition, collapsing on threatened grasslands and appear to harbour rabbits, hares and weeds.
- Willows planted in the creek line at Yarramundi Reach are increasingly impacting on the endangered wet Poa grassland community.
FOG would like to work with the NCA to help identify opportunities to strategically remove such additional trees to enhance the natural heritage values of National Lands.
Further, we believe there are cleared NCA lands at Stirling Park (management plan units 2, 4, 6 and 7) where re-establishment of locally indigenous woodland trees (mainly Eucalyptus) and understorey would help: suppress flammable, herbaceous weed growth; contribute to lowering fire risk; and further enhance natural heritage values. We ask the NCA to consider such action as mitigation measures for the necessary tree removal works at Stirling Park.
We would appreciate opportunities to assist your staff to incorporate these proposals in the NCA’s programs. Your staff may contact Jamie Pittock at FOG to follow up these measures on m. 0407 265 131 or Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org
12 March 2010