North East Bioregional Network
Acoustic Bird Monitoring
This project, supported by Birds Tasmania and The Central North Field Naturalists, is seeking to map the distribution of birds by making recordings all over the state, and then identifying the species involved. Todd has started the project by making recordings at Skyline Tier and Dianas Basin, a segment of which can be found on the Flora and Fauna page.
Bay of Fires National Park Proposal
NEBN along with many other concerned conservation groups and individuals have been lobbying the State and Federal Governments to scrap this dam which amongst other impacts would flood 100ha of Eucalyptus ovata forest which is "protected" under the RFA (Regional Forest Agreement). It appears that this dam will not go ahead as the Tasmanian Irrigation Development Board has advised the Federal Government that the Boobyalla dam is no longer being considered.
Greens Senator Christine Milne has helped to stop the dam through political pressure at the Federal level. Mike Douglas from Bridport also has been instrumental in stopping this dam. NEBN also provided local residents with useful information in relation to the proposed dam on the Great Forester River which now appears unlikely to go ahead.
It appears that the proposed open cut coalmine near Cornwall (south west of South Sister) has been abandoned due to the fact that much of the area earmarked for mining is covered by wet Eucalyptus brookeriana forest (another threatened Tasmanian forest type)
The area also constitutes prime habitat for the Blind Velvet Worm which has a restricted distribution mostly in the St. Marys region.
NEBN attended the hearing for the above inquiry held in Hobart (January 2009) giving a detailed account of the lack of planning in NE Tasmania and problems associated with illegal land clearing. Our presentations were received very well and a request for further information was made as the committee was concerned about poor coastal planning in our region.
Landscape Conservation Planning
NEBN attended this workshop in Hobart in February 2009. It was hosted by NRM South and attendees included Greening Australia, Wilderness Society, Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Forestry Tasmania, NRM North and Government agencies. The purpose was to try and work towards more information sharing and more integrated conservation planning in Tasmania .
The Restore Skyline Tier Project (restoration of 260ha of pine plantation back to native forest) is progressing well with excellent natural regeneration occurring in all areas weeded. A Green Corps team consisting of ten local 17-20 year olds will be working on conservation projects in the area for six months with Skyline Tier being the main project. They will also complete modules of TAFE's Conservation and Land Management course.
We are working in conjunction with the BOD Catchment Risk Group to reduce chemical use in the Break O'Day region. One of the key focus areas is the upper George River catchment where over 2,000ha of plantation is proposed to be harvested, sprayed with
chemicals and then replanted. This will have a significant impact of the water quality and quantity in the catchment. Environment Tasmania may be able to provide assistance with chemical testing.
NEBN has submitted a comprehensive report to this review highlighting gross inadequacies in regulation of forestry and land clearing in Tasmania . There is a desperate need for reform of the forestry industry and also meaningful land clearing legislation. This review will hopefully create impetus for Federal Government intervention to improve the currently woeful situation.
New Holland Mouse
We have produced a colour brochure for this project. To date two surveys have been undertaken which have hair samples of brushtail possums and Rattus lutreols (a native rat). No New Holland Mice have been found in the wild (despite intensive survey by experts) for 3 years now. More surveys are planned for this year to find this elusive mouse.
Forestry Tasmania has becoming increasingly uncooperative in the past 18 months as we have tried to protect logging coupes of high conservation value.
GC148A ( Goshen ) contains habitat for the threatened Simsons and Bornemissza stag beetles. Despite the high conservation values present in this coupe it was logged last year. At the time the Bornemisszas stag beetle was being considered for listing under the Commonwealth's EPBC Act. In early 2009 it was listed as critically endangered under the EPBC Act which is hardly surprising given the entire range for the species is only 5x2km. The NEBN made a detailed submission to have the species listed under the Act however it remains to be seen whether the State Government and Forestry Tasmania actually take any meaningful steps to protect its habitat as opposed to destroying it.
GC139B Old growth Eucalyptus regnans adjacent to the Lottah Recreation Ground is proposed for logging this year. The coupe also contains known records for the threatened Simsons Stag Beetle however Forestry Tasmania appear to be determined to proceed with logging.
UR020D Old growth Eucalyptus sieberi (Ironbark) and Eucalyptus regnans will be logged in this coupe on the Siamese Ridge near Pyengana. The coupe also contains numerous trees with hollows. Forestry Tasmania 's only concession was to protect a small patch of E. sieberi.
UR010E There are two Wedge-Tailed Eagles nests on the boundary of this coupe. While forest around the nests have been reserved it remains to be seen whether the eagles will return to an area fragmented by logging.
At the moment our only option is to pass on our concerns to the Federal Government, Certification bodies, Japanese wood purchasers and any other organisations that will create the necessary political and economic pressure to stop the current ongoing destruction of native forests in North East Tasmania.
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copyright 2007 www.northeastbioregionalnetwork.org.au, Last update 3/5/11