The Cooma Common
Friends of Grasslands has been helping for many years to manage the Cooma Common, an area of grassland on Radio Hill between Cooma town and the industrial area at Polo Flat, about 100km south of Canberra.† Working bees are held from time to time - see the activities schedule for more information on any current activities.
Some background on FoG's work is in an article Conservation of Monaro Golden Daisy habitat.
FoG held two one-day working bees in February and November 2012, and a three-day one with boom spraying in January 2013. For two of these we borrowed Cooma-Monaro Shire Council's wonderful weed spraying trailer, with three hoses and reels on a 400 L spray tank; magnificent! Some time back, FoG received an Environmental Trust grant to facilitate the use of strategic grazing on the Common. But fencing the reserve into several paddocks and introducing grazing have been postponed until we gain formal approval to graze the reserve with livestock. The committee has met four times and ensured that some progress has been made towards the proposed grant outcomes. NSW OEH has given in-principle approval for strategic conservation grazing of the reserve, subject to agreement on a management plan recently submitted. We hope that approval will be given in the next few months and that things will then happen quickly.
In February 2013 FoG was very pleased to be granted $4000 by NSW Crown Lands Department for continued weed control. This will be a great contribution to the significant costs of the annual efforts. Cooma-Monaro Shire Council will continue its valuable support by donating some chemicals for next season. Many thanks to volunteers who have worked at the Reserve, and hopefully in advance for future volunteer hours! We plan to make future volunteer time more effective by either using Council's spray trailer on the St Johnís Wort and other high priority targets, and/or cutting and dabbing Verbascum spikes at a better time of the year, probably late December. If strategic grazing is successfully introduced, less chemical weed control should be required.
For more recent information see the report to the 2014 FoG AGM.