Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Koalas need more than sympathy---- they need real habitat planning

ABC story on Koala deaths in SW Victoria plantations http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3808542.htm

The liquidation of these assets demonstrates just how careless our Governments have become .   These long term timber assets,  purchased with public money, are being liquidated early and the consequence is uneccasary carelessness and harm all around  

To highlight another piece of heart driven( cf head ) shallow government logic,  Koalas are choosing the unnatural native tree plantations to live in because the select young trees and sites have more nutritious leaves than the forests the government think they are protecting 
So its not  accurate to say the Koalas are going to plantations because the native habiatat /forests are so rare and degraded.We are deliberately and ignorantly ignoring their needs - for a bit of flawed and shallow logic. 
More and more Native forest areas are not feeding grounds for koalas because Shires DSE and CMAS are not supporting regeneration of the forests - a process that would help feed them ( you heard it first on blogger July 23rd 2013)
Native forest areas are getting older and less productive feeding grounds for certain species .
While it seems possible to greatly reduce the deaths on harvesting by more care by Australian Eucalyptus Plantations, the problem highlights the need to encourage much more natural regeneration in native forests . Current policy here is to try and preserve the old mature and over mature stages .Clearly a more diverse age forest would avoid the current nonsense of letting let the forest die and rot away with adverse consequences for site regeneration ability.  As often happens in environment policy actions,  finding a better balance is not as simple as sometimes portrayed .Depopulating plantations may be one option.
Political correctness flows fast but not deep

The idea that things won't die is greatly limiting our societies willingness to reinforce real resilience planning For example ,much more acceptable death patterns (older trees) could be matched to regeneration or relocation commitments ( younger trees) but the option is NOT widely advanced because the very idea death operates as a roadblock - its denied .  seeing and acting in the big picture is not happening until denial becomes acceptance , feeling becomes understanding . The problem highlights the skewed anthropomorphic and myopic views many have of the big picture of nature . Why do we favor fungi and ants and ignore the decomposition cycle when carbon sequestration is such a priority - because such natural processes are not easily seen and do not generate emotional responses


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Watch out - our roads aren't racecourses

One thing many modern wide roads don't do well yet is manage stormwater- ideally it's best to have crowned roads (upward curve - convex)  because even the foundations are vulnerable to water and compaction of the base becomes harder as the formation becomes wider.

In other words wide laned roads can easily develop soft spots too .

ONE  major hazard still not well recognised by the car industry is the need to cu off the cruise off  when windshield wipers are on,  to reduce the risk of cruise controls accelerating the engine when  a car hits water.

Another growing hazard not well recognised or properly addressed yet ( July 2013) is the grass growing on the verges. ( Wouldn't it be great if all greenies were practical and not one eyed about vegetation management)
While grass can be mown its often not and its very presence can undermine the edges and foundations ( shown here on a prominent road in Colac Otway shire by making them more open and softer .Note the date we notified them about this problem !! Note the soft spots and the lowered spots

If you would  like to know MORE about design with nature and making our use of the land more productive and respectful of its limits click here.

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