One of the hidden environmental issues affecting Australia’s woodlands, the collection of firewood, is starting to be revealed. CSIRO has prepared a report, Impact and Use of Firewood in Australia, pointing out alarming environmental problems. For example, up to 6 million tonnes of fuelwood is consumed in Australia each year – double the amount of annual exports of eucalypt woodchips!
In response, State and Commonwealth environment ministers have released a draft National Approach to Firewood Collection and Use in Australia, with actions focusing on community education, market mechanisms and possible regulation. It represents a forward-thinking first step.
To accelerate raising awareness, and following the success of the Victorian NPA Firewood and Fuel Wood Conference held in June 2000, the Commonwealth Government has funded NPA to organise a Firewood Conference in Armidale in May. Other conferences will be held in Tasmania and South Australia.
The April Journal will contain
conference details. Submissions to the Commonwealth draft strategy (available
with the CSIRO report at www.ea.gov.au/
firewood) are due on 31 March.
Two members of Three Valleys Branch were jointly awarded the Community Involvement Award by the NSW Coastal Council. Terry Parkhouse and James Tedder were – until last year – President and Secretary respectively of the North Coast Environment Council for the previous seventeen years. The Chairman of the Coastal Council made the presentation at the annual Coastal Conference. Congratulations, Terry and James.
NPA held an Open Bushwalking Day on 26 November to encourage participation in bushwalking as a fun, recreational activity. The venue, the Royal NP, and the weather turned out to be perfect, with more than 60 non-NPA people turning up. There were four different walks starting at 10.30 am and on the half-hour through to 1.30 pm.
The NPA Field Activities Committee, headed by Richard Thompson, provided tremendous support on the day with 14 walk leaders, plus others who assisted with the BBQ. NPA office staff also provided support. We held a lucky draw for visitors to win free membership of NPA.
Most of the visiting walkers were attracted to the event after seeing the free advertising in The Sydney Morning Herald, "Metropolitan Section – the best activities for the weekend". As an inaugural event the day was a success and we hope to conduct two Open Day events in 2001.
An annual event such as this will help to increase public awareness that we have a bushwalking program, one which caters for young and old alike. The aim is to increase our membership.
I would like to express my appreciation to all those who assisted on the day. I trust you – and others – will be keen to be involved in 2001, when I believe the event will continue to grow.
Sydney Branch’s educational series for 2001 has the title Wandering Wildlife. The focus is the provision of resources for wildlife beyond the national park system. By visiting areas around Sydney, we will investigate strategies to preserve buffer areas and urban bushland links. The series builds on that in 2000, and examines some of those theories in light of practical realities. Each month, there will be an event – talk and walk style – designed to be a relaxing Sunday outing, but with the stimulation of investigating opportunities for conserving bio-diversity alongside the demands of increasing urban populations.
In the May event at Beacon Hill entitled A Celebration of Biodiversity, we hope to display initial reports and photographs from the biodiversity survey in nearby Wheeler Creek Valley, in Sydney’s northern beaches, by NPA members and other experts. The area is a valuable tract of urban bushland which links through to Garigal NP.
NPA is working with the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation to organise the survey. The main work will be conducted in two or three sessions so we can study seasonal wildlife, the first from 23-26 March and at least one in the spring.
If you are able to help with
organising the survey, or would like to attend, please contact me at email@example.com;
or ph 9290 2151 (to leave a message); or fax 9905 7867.
Education Officer, Sydney Branch
man in Dubbo
Spare a thought for David Paull, our Western Woodland Officer. The storm that swept through Dubbo on 6 January rained him out of house and home. Contribute generously to our Western Woodland project, to help him feel better!
Profile – Anne Reeves
|The conservation movement is
made up of many individuals with many different faces. Some stand in
front of dozers; others write long articles and attend meetings; some
buttonhole politicians and public servants; while others negotiate and
discuss with decision makers ways of overcoming problems affecting the
environment. I haven’t seen Anne Reeves stand in front of a dozer, but
she has for many years operated on every other front to ensure that the
natural environment is not despoiled completely for future generations.
In 1974 Anne was the honorary secretary of the Conservation Council of South Australia. But this did not occupy her time completely so she also worked with the Nature Conservation Society, the equivalent of our NPA. In her work with the Conservation Council, she organised the work of the Conservation Centre and aided the two paid staff and the volunteers. She was always available to give advice and help in a host of ways.
When there were problems or a crisis Anne was there to calm matters and suggest other ways of solving the problem. Her sharp and incisive mind cut through to the crux of a problem and left one wondering why you couldn’t have seen the solution.
Anne has never been heard to raise her voice, however dumb or belligerent her opponent is in a debate. Her persuasive powers are as strong as her modesty. She has a great sense of humour and in difficult situations can take out the tension with a delightful smile and a joke.
For the Nature Conservation Society Anne organised field surveys, and anyone who has done this will appreciate not only the work to be done months before hand, during and following the survey, but the frustrations that greet the organiser at every turn. Anne took these in her stride. Besides surveys, Anne prepared submissions, negotiated with government ministers and held various positions in the Society. Then, to fill in time, Anne became a Local Government Councillor and helped bring a "green" perspective to the Council.
When Anne and husband Peter moved to NSW, Anne was her usual cautious self before throwing her weight into any local organisation. She asked questions, sought advice from many people and, lucky for us in the NPA, Anne decided to devote an enormous amount of time and energy to this organisation. (And there are other groups that have also benefited from her energy.)
Not only has Anne served on the Executive for many years, but she has been President and Vice President both Junior and Senior. Her most important work over the past three years has been in negotiating on river and water issues in the western two-thirds of NSW. These issues involve numerous meetings, field trips, wading through large documents, and conferences. She has a special interest, fostered in her SA days, for the arid and semi-arid zones to ensure that the rivers are treated with respect, that irrigation does not take all the waters and give back nothing but salt, and that the flora and fauna are provided with better protection by a much improved reserve system in that area of the State.
For visitors to Sydney Anne and Peter have been most generous of their time and hospitality. Country Branch members in exchange for a bed are expected to provide answers to many questions so that Anne can be kept abreast of thinking and problems outside the metropolitan area.
Anne is also a representative on the Bushfire Co-ordinating Committee so that she has something to do in her spare time.
Three Valleys Branch