Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
ACT Heritage Council
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Provisional registration of Kama woodland, small purple pea and button wrinklewort on Heritage Register
FOG is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its more than 200 members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.
For some time, FOG has recognised the importance of Kama Reserve in conserving the endangered yellow box - red gum grassy woodland ecosystem in the ACT. We have visited the area several times, with another visit planned for August, and conducted plant surveys in the woodland. In its recent submissions on proposed developments in the Molonglo Valley, FOG has expressed concerns about potential impacts on the reserve from the proposed urban developments, arguing for larger buffer zones around the reserve and ongoing monitoring of the quality of the reserve to identify impacts from the urban areas and to mitigate their effects early. Any steps that might aid the recognition of the importance of conserving this area are, in FOG’s view, worthwhile. Thus, FOG strongly supports the proposed provisional registration of Kama woodland on the Heritage Register.
FOG has undertaken surveys, particularly along the railway line south of Michalego, to find more locations and monitor the status of button wrinklewort. In fact, in doing so we found what we believe is the most southern population of button wrinklewort in New South Wales. With regard to the ACT populations of button wrinklewort, FOG has a particular interest in Stirling Park and has been concerned about its management and status for some time. Past management of the site has been lacking, resulting in weed invasion. In partnership with the National Capital Authority (NCA), FOG has instigated some action to improve management. For example, after work done in 2009-10, some of the best areas of button wrinklewort habitat in the Park are now clear of woody weeds. However major threats remain, including: herbaceous weed invasion, lack of fire management, “thickening” of Eucalyptus woodlands, overshadowing by adjacent large exotic trees (along the Lake and elsewhere), unmanaged recreational use impacts, and potential developments. As well, FOG has written to the NCA about its concerns that a number of existing trees in Stirling Park are inappropriately located and impacting on the natural heritage values of these lands.
FOG also remains concerned that the lands at Stirling Park (mostly managed by the NCA) are not reserved to manage natural heritage. The “national capital purposes” zoning of this land and earmarking of the “Park” still include the button wrinklewort habitat as a potential site for a new Prime Ministers' Lodge and for an unbuilt road easement. Apparent lack of coordination between the ACT Government and the NCA in managing their adjacent lands containing button wrinklewort habitat is another issue. Therefore heritage listing of the button wrinklewort habitat in Stirling Park is an important measure that may aid better appreciation and conservation of this species' habitat. For this reason, we are pleased that the significance of the button wrinklewort population at Stirling Park is being recognised as one of the three sites in the provisional registration of this species, and strongly support its provisional registration on the Heritage Register.
Finally, FOG supports the proposed provisional registration of small purple pea on the Heritage Register. We have been aware of the Mt Taylor site for a number of years, and of the ongoing monitoring of the site. Again, FOG has undertaken surveys, particularly along the railway line south of Michalego, to find more locations and monitor the status of this plant. The small purple pea is so rare that any sites containing it are of significance and FOG considers that all should be given special status to ensure the ongoing protection of the species in the ACT.
23 July 2010