Biodiversity and planned burns – DELWP Meeting – Thurs 18 Oct, Castlemaine

DELWP is holding a Joint Fuel Management Program meeting (what was called the FOP) in Castlemaine at the Ray Bradfield rooms on Thursday 18 October between 4:00 and 7:00 pm.  Invitations have been sent to various groups and individuals, so please feel free to attend this forum.

We are keen to have more discussion about the proposed Bruce’s Track burn in the Muckleford Forest. Hearing that the burn was about to happen this spring (not 2019 as scheduled), got us in action, sharing our concerns with DELWP about biodiversity impacts.

The Bruces Track planned burn is located in the bushfire moderation zone (BMZ) which has a fuel management objective of reducing bushfire speed and intensity with the focus on reducing impacts on life and property. The zoning scheme was developed as part of the former West Central Bushfire Risk Landscape and was subject of engagement including a meeting in Daylesford in 2016 that Muckleford Forest Friends and FOBIF were involved in. As a result the BMZ (then called NEW03) in the Bruces Track area was reduced in size.

That’s good news – but what about the mitigation measures for specific species – especially during spring breading and nesting? The ‘sudden’ outset of the burn was a serious worry. Based on our advocacy about known bird species active in the area, the DELWP biodiversity assessment staff have been asked to consider our advice and make recommendations on what DELWP should do reduce impacts. Their initial advice is to delay the burn until autumn, minimise canopy scorch and leave unburnt patches in the burn unit. The burn will now be  postponed until autumn 2019.

We have been asked to add our records to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA) – which really highlights the poor state of knowledge that DELWP have about species present in the Muckleford Forest (and other areas too of course).  As readers would know from earlier posts, we have a series of 20 minute, 2 ha bird transects set up in the forest which we are monitoring quarterly and importing our data via BirdData.

Much of the data for the Bruce’s Track area has been collected through other forms of observation. Any volunteers out there who could help enter this data into VBA or BirdData?

 

 

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One response to “Biodiversity and planned burns – DELWP Meeting – Thurs 18 Oct, Castlemaine

  1. Hi Chris,
    Well done for organising a meeting with Delwp.

    Just to keep you in the loop we met with Delwp regarding proposed burning of eltham copper butterfly prime habitat at kalimna park last autumn where they wanted “to burn no matter what”, we since reported them to the EPBC compliance team for their lack of monitoring, reporting known sites that they recorded on the VBA and for lack of expert prescriptions for this threatened species. The burn was halted while a thorough process was developed. We have recently written to the environment minister and met with Maree Edwards one week ago regarding the lack of processes to ensure threatened species and communities are protected.

    Maree said they could not burn this season without minister approval and this would not happen due to the government being in care taker mode.

    Good luck.

    warm wishes
    Elaine
    Sent from my iPhone

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