Grass half full or grass half empty? Valuing native grassy landscapes
Proceedings of a forum to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Friends of Grasslands supporting native grassy ecosystems
30 October – 1 November 2014
CSIRO Discovery Centre, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Note: Most links on this page are to pdf documents, ranging in size up to 2MB each unless noted otherwise. In some cases a 'HiRes' (high resolution) version is also offered: it will contain fewer compression artifacts and would be the choice for a presentation or printing. The regular version will be a smaller file, suitable for most on screen purposes, emailing and for people with limited download capacity.
Grass half full or grass half empty? Valuing native grassy landscapes. Proceedings of the Friends of Grasslands 20th anniversary forum, 30 October – 1 November 2014, Canberra, Australia. Editors: A. Milligan & H. Horton. Friends of Grasslands Inc. ISBN 978-0-9944958-1-5
- Complete Forum (16MB) (HiRes version 45MB - has better image quality)
- Front cover
- Friends of Grasslands
- Introduction to this forum
- Spoken presentations
- Field sites and talks
- Back cover
This is ‘grey literature’. None of the contents has been peer-reviewed.
This proceedings is published only as a record of the forum and the information presented. The contents are derived mostly from transcripts of sound recordings and powerpoint slides. All the presentations included here have been cleared by their originators for publication as grey literature. Do not cite these contents as authoritative. Contact presenters for information, via their institutions, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This proceedings is available for download from the Friends of Grasslands website, as a compilation and as individual papers. It is not available as a printed volume.
© Friends of Grasslands Inc. 2015
Friends of Grasslands Inc.
PO Box 440, Jamison Centre ACT 2614
Friends of Grasslands Inc. warmly thanks all the people who contributed to making the forum a success and the publication of these proceedings online: all the speakers and Chairs of the sessions on the three days, the behind-the-scenes teams (e.g. registration, sound recording; design; editing), and the generous people and groups that sponsored and supported the forum.
Chairs and behind-scenes: John Fitz Gerald; Jamie Pittock; Rainer Rehwinkel; Naarilla Hirsch; Kathryn Wells; Tony Lawson; Kim Pullen; Andrew Zelnik; Stephen Horn; Margaret Ning; Leon Pietsch; Sarah Sharp; Geoff Robertson; Lesley Peden; James Milligan; Michael Bedingfield; Helen Horton; Richard Bomford.
Sponsors and supporters: Greening Australia; Conservation Council ACT Region; Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C); Office of the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment; Regional Landcare Facilitator; Earth Basics; CSIRO Discovery Centre.
Thank you all.
Transcriptions: TranscriberOnline, www.transcriberonline.com.
Images: Presenters; Barbara Payne (front cover); Michael Bedingfield (forum banner).
Compilation: Friends of Grasslands Inc.
List of presentations, posters, workshops, demonstrations and field talks
Not published here: The following people presented papers or posters or talks at the forum and field trip which are not included at this time:
Shaun McKiernan & Nicholas Gill
Note: Emma Cook's presentation was included on 6 February. Versions of the compilation documents downloaded before then may not have her paper included.
Perceptions and values of grassy ecosystems
Sarah Ryan and Nick Abel
The moths and lizards that shaped Canberra
Lessons learnt by Friends of Grasslands
Management of grassland floristic diversity
(All 9 posters in one file: 11MB)
Grasslands in residence
Perception of grass
Smartphone apps for invasive weed control
Multi-scale phenology of temperate grasslands
Perennial grass survival in drought
Habitat and connectivity modelling project: The mapping of
fauna habitat and connectivity values in the South East Local Land Services area
Jamie Love, Rainer Rehwinkel and Kristy Moyle
Golden Sun Moths and citizen science: outcomes from a survey
of lowland grasslands in the ACT region, 2008–09
Sarah Hnatiuk and Annet Richter
Advocacy and community involvement
Jamie Pittock, John Fitz Gerald, Naarilla Hirsch
On-ground & weed management & restoration
Geoff Robertson, Nicki Taws, David Johnson
Indigenous land management practices
Lauren Van Dyke
Balancing grassland conservation & other land uses
Sarah Sharp, Alice McDougall, Graham Fifield
(All four in one file: 1MB)
BUD – Grasslands web portal, a ‘gamma’ version
Smartphone apps for invasive weed control
Canberra Nature Map: citizen science and the important role you can play
Michael Mulvaney and Aaron Clausen
Peter Beutel, Jamie Pittock, Tyronne Bell and Wally Bell
Anthony Hart, Nicki Taws, Sue McIntyre, Jason Cummings
Jerrabomberra Grassland Reserves
Maree Gilbert, Kim Pullen, Rainer Rehwinkel
Including an addendum:
A Revised Floristic Value Scoring Method to assess grassland condition
Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a non-profit association, run by volunteers, focusing on grasslands in south-eastern Australia. FOG was established in November 1994 and is incorporated and registered in the Australian Capital Territory.
To protect and ultimately recover grassy ecosystems, it is necessary to build strong community understanding, skills, and support. FOG was launched to provide such support.
FOG’s founders saw the need to attract attention to grassland conservation through community liaison, public education and information. To be successful, a new group must get off to a good start, and FOG’s founders were fortunate in being able to draw on many highly skilled people who were excited by a new concept of grassland conservation from the ecosystem perspective.
Eighty people attended the launch of the organisation. The first FOG president was Edwina Barton, who had a wealth of experience, a large network, and total commitment to grassland conservation. Since then FOG has attracted successive presidents with similar deep commitment to grasslands, their recognition and conservation.
Education, advocacy, on-ground work and research are the group’s main activities. FOG believes that to prevent further loss of, and particularly to recover SE Australia’s grassy ecosystems, it should be helping grassland users, managers and interested people to gain a good theoretical and practical grounding in grassy ecosystem conservation.
In advocacy FOG has made numerous submissions to governments and stakeholders, and its advice is actively sought. To provide a sound basis for advocacy FOG has aimed to recruit practising scientists, land owners, managers and committed conservationists to its ranks, and they have provided their services voluntarily.
FOG’s activities include field visits to grasslands in the region, on-ground monitoring, clearing of invasive plant species, planting and workshops. Also, in 2003 FOG co-sponsored the Third Native Grasses Conference with Stipa Native Grasses Association.
Friends of Grasslands was created to build community support for grassy ecosystem recovery. Membership is open to all, whether individuals or organisations. FOG’s members are interested in conservation, production and land-management, Landcare and ParkCare; they are professional scientists and ecologists, and members of the community from a range of backgrounds, and private and government agencies. The membership is based in several states and held together by the website and FOG’s publications and workshops.
To read more about FOG or find useful information resources about grasslands, and to apply for membership, visit our website at <www.fog.org.au>.
‘Grass half full or grass half empty? Valuing native grassy landscapes’ is the sixth major forum that Friends of Grasslands (FOG) has hosted.
This latest forum is being held in the year of FOG’s 20th anniversary, to recognise and celebrate and promote its on-going commitment to conservation of grassy ecosystems.
FOG’s main activities are co-operative advocacy, education and on-ground action, working with all stakeholders be they community, government or developers. An important aspect of this is FOG’s provision of a conduit for communication between scientists, land managers and on-ground conservation practitioners and volunteers. That is also an aim of this forum.
An incredible amount has been achieved in building understanding and in protecting the ecology of grassy ecosystems in the past 20 years. Often, caught up in the problems or concerns of the moment, we who care about grasslands forget what advances have been made. I know that the general understanding of these grassy ecosystems is far more sophisticated now than 20 years ago. Grassland supporters have moved a long way from the first tentative steps of retaining areas and maintaining their condition; now we see ambitious programs to significantly enhance condition and extend areas and species through restoration. A number of examples of this will be provided at the forum.
In the last few years there have been few opportunities for people with different agendas and priorities to meet and share results of studies and on-ground work; few chances to dig our teeth into the issues, successes, questions and answers relating to grassy ecosystems. Therefore, this forum will investigate several major themes across the broad spectrum of presenters’ experiences, including:
- recognition and respect for diverse values and responses to changing values,
- changing priorities of government that influence planning, policies and actions at various governance levels,
- managing grassy ecosystems for multiple purposes,
- lobbying, and
As always, we would like to have included so much more in the program — to have given more opportunities for everyone to share their experiences, and to have covered a broader range of related topics. There is much more to native grassy ecosystems than we could possibly cover in three days. We have endeavoured, therefore, to provide plenty of opportunities for all delegates to be actively involved in discussions, and to share their knowledge with others.
In this electronic world it is easy to forget how important it is to actually see each other and to talk together, rather than just relying on communication through computers and talking to a few closely aligned colleagues. I hope that after the forum all delegates will be feeling stimulated, excited and energised to continue, in individual ways, to ensure the protection and maintenance of our natural ecosystems. I also hope that some useful new links with other delegates will be forged.
We thank many organisations for the support they are providing — financial from some, to help keep the costs to a minimum, and practical help from others.
In particular I would like to thank Greening Australia, the Regional Landcare Facilitator, the CSIRO Discovery Centre, Kosciuszko to Coast, Earth Basics, the Conservation Council ACT Region and the Office of the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment. The support of all the participating delegates, whether giving talks or providing posters or demonstrations, or sharing knowledge in the workshops and presenting in the field is highly appreciated. Many thanks in particular to the delegates who have come from beyond the Capital Region, from Victoria and NSW. The additional effort that is required to travel here to participate and share your knowledge is really appreciated and we will all gain from your involvement. ACT Parks and Conservation Service, National Capital Authority and the ATSIC Cultural Centre have all provided permission for us to take delegates onto some pretty special grassland and grassy woodland sites in the ACT. Last and far from least, of course, thank you to the FOG members who have volunteered a great deal of time to ensure this event is successful and smoothly run.
President, Friends of Grasslands
30 October 2014