Hotspots

On Saturday, the 6th of December, we participated in an important training program – Hotspots Fire Project.  Hotspots Fire Project is a training program for landholders and managers. It is designed to give them the knowledge and skills to manage fire on their property, to protect assets, life and biodiversity.

hotPart of the agenda was a controlled burn on the property where the training was held.  As irony may have it, on the day of fire training it bucketted down!  In 48hours we had over a 100 ml. of rain!  Our water tank is overflowing, and the dams have become a stream.

The road in to the property where the training was held, copped a beating from the locals participating, but it was great to see our community come together.

We live in what is called and Environmental zone.  This is a small subdivision, of a small acreages surrounded by forest, national park and bush.  Fire, from a management level, as well as a hazard level, is something we have to think about, particularly at this time of year.

Not having lived in bush like this before, there were some things that came up that I wasn’t expecting.  Since being here I have been on a mission to eradicate Pittosporum.

pitto It has taken off like a weed here, and seems to harbour particular vines, that strangle and inhibit the growth of some much preferred trees.  I’ve wanted to create visual pathways through the undergrowth so new growing Pittosporum and a lot of vines have been taken out.vineAt the Hotspots training there were presenters from various environmental agencies, with information that made me a little doubtful.

This area had been logged a long time ago.  The regrowth is Wet Sclerophll Forest, which is dominated by tall gums, such as the Spotted Gum I love so much.  The Spotted Gum is also a tree that thrives on disturbance.  Perhaps the logging has given them the disturbance they needed to become this prolific.  As much as I love this forest of incredibly tall trees I am now thinking of native habitat our area provides.  Does the pittosporum and vines create a more rainforest like environment for the Potoroos that have been seen in the area?  Without those plants would we have more of a Dry Sclerophll forest?  We are lucky to have a gully, natural waterway and dam on our property, that has protected and allowed  a small area of rainforest to thrive…is that small area enough?

surroundedThe tall Eucalypts on the other hand provide habitat for an array of other native fauna.  Recently, a Koala was seen on a property on the road we live on.  With a population of between 50 and 80 koalas in a very wide spread area here, I’m thinking I’ll keep clearing the eastern side of Pittosporum ect. keep the western side much like it is, and for every unwanted tree I chop down, plant a Koala friendly one.

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