RegenTV_ian Davidson_BannerIn August  several AABR members attended the NSW Roadside Environment Committee Forum – Linear Reserves: Linking People, Nature and Infrastructure.

Whilst linear reserves are largely roadsides, they also include Travelling Stock routes and riparian areas plus other type of corridors. It is estimated that linear reserves in NSW cover about 6% of the state. In some areas these contain native vegetation of high conservation value

The forum brought together people involved in managing these areas to network and learn about the process for managing these areas. One of the points highlighted in talks was the need for the various authorities managing these areas to collaborate, as some corridors involve different tenure types. Assessment and planning for good management was also stressed.

The presentation on the general Biosecurity Duty legislated under the new NSW Biosecurity Act’s was interesting in that it may mean a change in the way people and organisations are obligated to deal with weeds. Under this duty ‘people have a general obligation to be aware of their surroundings and take action to prevent the introduction and spread of pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants’.

One of the projects described was the management of travelling stock routes in the Riverina.This project was awarded the Albert Morris Award* in 2018 for its high relevance to conserving and renewing the native vegetation of regional Australia upon which we depend.

In the case of the Riverina TSRs, the motivation has been and remains to renew the native vegetation for not only native fauna habitat but also to retain potential for managed grazing. The TSR rangers achieve this by allowing grazing when weed is growing but prior to its seeding, allowing a shift to more productive native pastures and recovery of other natives. Grazing thereby provides the main tool for renewing the ecosystems. The project also involves substantial seeding of native shrubs to improve habitats for declining woodland birds, many of which the project’s monitoring has found returning slowly but surely.

Other topics addressed included management of habitat for microbats , use of nest boxes, using drones for environmental assessments and the role of the roads in vegetation management and biodiversity.

Have you attended a forum or conference recently and would like to share some items of interest? Contact AABR’s newsletter editor Louise newsletter@aabr.org.au

* This award commemorates the visionary work led by Albert Morris in creating the Broken Hill Regeneration reserves. It is endorsed by Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, The Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Greening Australia and the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia.