Cycling in Sydney Australia
"Land Management" is almost always code for increased commercialisation of currently "wasted", "underutilised", "locked up" "State Assets" in National Parks. "Managed" to what end we might ask, those calling for "better" management generally start from the premise that the assets are currently badly managed, ie are not producing an optimal "return" for the state and therefore wasted opportunities. If we cleared all the unused parks around Sydney just think of the housing boom that would allow and contribution to the GDP, Sydney could become a truly global city of 25 million, not hemmed in by all those trees.
Management usually involves more commercial "harvesting" of timber, more burning to "protect" poorly planned human "development", more fire trails with cleared setbacks breaking up "wilderness" areas into smaller and smaller (but easier to manage), contiguous areas and allowing (encouraging) the grazing of introduced cattle, sheep, goats in National Parks to reduce fuel loads (ie killing any regrowth). Farmers are not immune from short term management over grazing practices on their own properties so are not going to be too concerned about over grazing on someone else's (ie yours & my) national parks.
I have near zero knowledge regarding fire intensity etc but am a little sceptical regarding traditional land management practices, I would like to see the evidence, they seem more appropriate to largely open grassed areas rather than more dense forested ones and even if effective for the last 50,000 years nature seemed to manage fairly well for the previous 500 million.
I have lost count of the seemingly otherwise intelligent people who have told me in recent weeks that the "greenies" are to blame because they have stopped proper management and "hazard" reduction in national parks, I never realised they had such authority, sneaky bastards
Bill my understanding of the aboriginal land practices involved "cool burns" that included:
1) leaving the watercourses under trees to minimise erosion and maximise fish and eel life:
2) then a grassland of circa 300m to maximise huntable species;
3) then a circa 100m of trees to shelter huntable species;
4) then another 300m grassland; etc
They also established permanent fish traps in estuaries and creeks. In addition some area of grass land were managed to produce small grains for breads.
This is why I believe Aboriginal knowledge of land management is worthy of serious consideration.
I educating myself on these issues I saw this on the ABC, As bushfire and holiday seasons converge, it may be time to say goo... and while it is mainly about the co-incidence of peak fire and peak holiday seasons it makes some observations regarding the decreasing gap between high intensity fires in some areas (15 years rather than expected 50-100).
In another story I saw mention that the IPCC stats for global warming contributors do not include "natural" events like the current fires and that these are estimated to have already contributed almost the equivalent of Austtralia's other total carbon emissions for the year, ie we are on track to double our emissions for this year. Earth doesn't care where it comes from but the effect from counted and uncounted is the same.
The rationale was that regrowth after burns would sequestrate as much carbon in years after the fires as the fires released but this is now being questioned as the ongoing, maybe now "normal", drought conditions are reducing the expected regrowth.
Perhaps our (and others) "contribution" from bush fires and "controlled" hazard reductions should be included.
Bill the aboriginal land management practices have a 50,000 year track record of success and sustainability. Studying their land management practices would appear to be worthwhile.