Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery

by Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Healing our land - Bushfire Recovery
Coastal Conservation Officer Corey Jackson
Coastal Conservation Officer Corey Jackson

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) is committed to continuing its critical regeneration efforts post bushfires, which left over 12 million hectares burned and over a billion native animals affected. Healing our land is FNPW's global emergency appeal to help recover the land affected by the 2019/20 bushfires. Its aim is to restore habitats for threatened species, regenerate national parks with tree plantings and landscape management and purchase land for the purpose of creating new national parks.

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has awarded an additional five new grants to Bushfire Recovery Nurseries bringing the total to nine plant nurseries as part of its mission to plant a million trees in bushfire affected regions by 2025.

FNPW’s grants will expand the capacity of these tree nurseries to propagate thousands more native plants for erosion prevention and animal habitats. Seedlings will be established from indigenous tree species in each of the nursery locations and will be planted in national parks across Australia, as well as other public and private lands that have been affected by bushfires.

The five new bushfire recovery nurseries are located in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA).

Grant awardees include:

Ngullingah Jugun (Our Country) Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (NSW)

With its grant, the Corporation plans to establish a small nursery facility at its premises at Mallangaree, which will propagate and harden 10,000 eucalypt and non-eucalypt flowering and fruiting species to support threatened species such as the Koala, Yellow- bellied Glider and Grey-headed Flying Fox. The nursery will be used as a training opportunity for Western Bundjalung people as part of their development as bush regenerators and land managers, as well as support the bushfire affected regions of Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage area and NSW North Coast. Plants will be offered to bushfire affected landholders as well as planting on burnt country which is the process of transfer to the Corporation as part of its ILUA with the State Government.

Mount Barker District Council (SA)

In partnership with Hills Biodiversity, the Council will expand its nursery facility and upscale its resources to plant a total of 16,000 additional seedlings to support 35 threatened native species, with a particular focus on SA Blue Gum, Wirilda and Varnish Wattle. These seedlings will contribute to the bushfire recovery efforts in the Mount Lofty to Kangaroo Island Connection and cater for volunteers working on Council projects, with many of the plants grown by Hills Biodiversity and the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning group to be planted on private land.

Trees in Newcastle (NSW)

Trees In Newcastle (TIN) is a long-established community environmental organisation made up mainly of volunteers. Since 1989, the native plant nursery has been committed to conserving native vegetation, supporting the community with environmental initiatives and offering bush regeneration and consultation services.

Since the bushfires of 2019 – 2020, TIN has been involved with landowners in the Laguna-Wollombi, Port Stephens and Merriwa areas to collect seed, provide planting advice and supply native trees. With the grant provided by FNPW, the Nursery will expand its capacity by an additional 10,000 trees to plant a total of 33,000 native trees. These trees will support the Wollemi NP, Lower and Upper Hunter, Central Coast and Blue Mountains World Heritage Area regions.

The native trees, including the Grey Ironbark, Forest Redgum, Spotted Gum and Black Sheoak, will support threatened species such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo, Powerful Owl, Regent Honeyeater and Koala.

 

Hunter Region Landcare Network Incorporated (NSW)

Hunter Region Landcare Network (HRLN) has been working with Merriwa Landcare and the Upper Hunter Shire Council’s sponsored “Green Thumbs” project (created for the community during 2020’s COVID-19 uncertainty) to train community members in plant propagation. Participants took plants home to grow prior to transferring them to Muscle Creek Landcare’s nursery in Muswellbrook, with approximately 800 native plants produced – the bulk of which were included in the revegetation of areas affected by the Sir Ivan fire of 2017.Few species currently in the Muscle Creek Landcare nursery are suitable for areas burnt by the 2019/20 fires however targeted seed collection activities in conjunction with Wollombi, Broke-Bulga, Three Valleys (Putty), Congewai and Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare groups will be undertaken in adjoining areas later this year to support the recovery of Wollemi National Park and Blue Mountains World Heritage areas.

The awarded grant will go towards establishing a 10,000 capacity community nursery in Merriwa run by volunteers passionate about restoring wildlife habitat and improving local biodiversity. Hunter Region Landcare Network has ongoing assistance from Hunter Local Land Services to collect and grow primarily Grassy Box Woodland species in the region.

 

The Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council (NSW)

Given recent droughts and bushfires, it is an important time to bring the Braidwood and surrounds community together to help collect a local seed bank and propagate more native tubestock. This grant will allow for the launch of a five-year-in-planning community nursery program, with the capacity for 16,000 seedlings across 20 tree species, including Blackwood, Brittle Gum, Ribbon Gum and Snow Gum, as well as threatened species such as the Araluen Gum and the Mongarlowe Mallee.

 

Update:

 

District Council of Yankalilla Nursery

Corey Jackson, the Coastal Conservation Officer at the District Council of Yankalilla, said “It’s a privilege to support FNPW’s mission to plant one million trees over the next five years. Our ultimate goal has always been to plant and restore native vegetation and this grant will ensure we can expand our scope to regenerate even more land affected by the bushfires.”

The Yankalilla Community Nursery has grown 25,000 seedlings with the support of its volunteers and partners. These seedlings have been planted out in the Yankalilla area to support the habitat restoration for the Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami). Once common on the Fleurieu Peninsula, the cockatoos are now found only on Kangaroo Island and were heavily impacted by the recent bushfires.

Mr. Ian Darbyshire, Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.said: “Yankalilla Community Nursery will play a significant role in our mission to restore our national ecosystem. Tree planting is essential for the regeneration of our future and plays a vital role in restoring natural habitats, native vegetation and wildlife rehabilitation efforts across Australia.”

A community planting event was completed to infill last year’s planting on the banks of the Bungala River at Normanville with volunteers from the Fleurieu Environment Centre. Volunteers collected tree guards from previous plantings for reuse and planted seedlings grown at the Fleurieu Coast Community Nursery.

Glossy Black Cockatoo community revegetation projects continued at Cape Jervis (Fishery Beach and Morgans Beach), Carrickalinga (Fork Tree Project) and Sellicks Cliffs/ Cactus Canyon/ Buddhist Temple site. This project is in partnership with Conservation Volunteers and local community groups. All seedlings for this project have been grown at the Fleurieu Coast Community Nursery.

At Sellicks we planted with volunteers from the Buddhist Temple and the community to add to last years planting and undertook tree guard and plant maintenance.

Other planting events occurred at Moana Sands Conservation Park with the Friends of Moana Sands, Aldinga Washpool with the Friends of Aldinga Scrub, Watsons Gap with the Watsons Gap Dune Care Group, Green Bay with the Green Bay Recovery Group, Freeman Knob with the Freeman Knob’s Coastcare, Middleton with the Paradise Plant Club, Carrickalinga with the Fleurieu Environment Centre, Cape Jervis with the Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group and Cape Jervis Progress Association, Hindmarsh River Estuary with the Friends of the Hindmarsh River and Dump Beach with Victor Harbor Coastcare.

Revegetation at Sellicks Cliffs
Revegetation at Sellicks Cliffs
Revegetation at Sellicks Cliffs with volunteers
Revegetation at Sellicks Cliffs with volunteers

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On the 28th April, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife launched our fourth bushfire recovery nursery with Friends of the Koala Inc in Lismore, NSW. The additional trees grown here will support the declining koala population on the NSW North Coast following the Black Summer bushfires.

The grant awarded to Friends of the Koala Inc. will extend the capacity of its current nursery to plant a total of 100,000 trees per year. This will be a major step in supporting the recovery of New South Wales’ North Coast and the Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Area, of which 50% was devastated by the fires, destroying the habitats of thousands of native animals. Tree species planted will include the Forest Red Gum, Tallowood, Swamp Mahogany, Grey Gum, Grey Ironbark, Flooded Gum and Brush Box.

Operating for over 35 years, Friends of the Koala Inc. has an established history conserving, enhancing and preserving the Koala population and their habitat. Alongside the native plant nursery, the group operates a Koala Hospital in East Lismore and works to rescue, rehabilitate and release koalas back into the wild.

 

From left to right: Chairman, FNPW, Managing Director, L’OCCITANE Australia, APAC Ecosystem Director at One Tree Planted, Nursery Manager, Friends of the Koala

Mark Wilson, the Friends of the Koala Nursery Manager, said that this grant will enhance his team’s commitment to creating a more continuous corridor of food and shelter for koalas, particularly in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

“The support of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has meant that we are now a step ahead in our mission to protect NSW’s declining koala population. The Black Summer was the worst environmental disaster witnessed in history, killing or displacing three billion animals, so it’s our first priority to start rebuilding habitats to protect our beloved native wildlife.”

Ian Darbyshire, CEO of FNPW, said: “Friends of the Koala will play a significant role in restoring Australia’s biodiversity and our mission of planting one million trees in bushfire affected regions around Australia. This will be an integral step in supporting NSW’s koala population of which a third was severely affected. It is thanks to our partners, L’OCCITANE and One Tree Planted that grants such as this can continue to be awarded to restore our native flora and fauna.”

FNPW thanks global reforestation non-profit, One Tree Planted, French beauty brand, L’OCCITANE and Southern Cross University for their contribution to the Friends of the Koala Bushfire Recovery Nursery.

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Aboriginal Site Recording Yengo NP
Aboriginal Site Recording Yengo NP

In December, FNPW received the final report from one of our Bushfire Recovery Grants: Aboriginal Site Recording Yengo NP and Surrounding Country. The project aimed to map 40 sites, however from May through to December the team surveyed more than 67 sites.

The area was severely impacted by the 2019-20 bushres and the grant has allowed many Aboriginal sites in the Yengo NP and surrounding country to be surveyed and photographed. The team surveyed 41 known cave sites (listed AHIMS) with signicant art – drawings, artefact stencils and hand stencils – photographed and GPS conrmed. In addition, there were 22 engraving sites visited and recorded with some photographed at night, with the team continuing to check on well known sites mainly in the Yengo NP. The survey list also includes many grinding groove sites, water ‘tanks’ and stone arrangements.

Highlights from the survey include unrecorded sites – two caves with signicant drawings and stencils, several stone arrangements (dicult to specify quantity), engravings (some partial that could be added to known engravings at the same site) and many new grinding groove sites. Some cave sites also contained artefacts such as knapping stone akes, ochre fragments, animal bones (most likely macropod) and mussel shells.

Below are some of the photos they have taken from the sites that were mapped after the fires.

The images from the caves (Yengo 1 and 2) show art work on walls and engravings of circles believed to be in excess of 4,000 years.
These caves were excavated by archeologist Jo McDonald in 1987 and are believed to be the oldest in NSW.


Most of the sites survived the res, although there was some damage to at least two caves due to the impact of eroding winds in the restorm and trees that burnt into the cave overhangs. On the sandstone platforms, the leaf litter and fallen trees will have an impact as vegetation regrows and possibly cover engraving sites. The team has removed leaf litter on a number of engraving sites to protect the site.

The team have worked with the national parks rangers and this very successful relationship will continue, especially in regard to updating AHIMS and the protection/management of cultural sites. The team are developing their skills and sharing their knowledge of photography, mapping and survey planning. A great outcome from the grant has been achieved.
 
This project was funded through FNPW's Emergency Bushfire Recovery Grants as part of FNPW's Healing our land initiative.
Top group photo shows Kiama, Ben, Liza, Jim Mitchell (team volunteer who works on survey, maps and planning), Allan Chawner (team volunteer who works with survey and photography), Carol Carter (team volunteer who works with survey, lighting and administration) and Warren Taggart, Wonnarua Elder and team leader.

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Wildlife-Heroes-photo-courtesy-Doug-Gimesy
Wildlife-Heroes-photo-courtesy-Doug-Gimesy

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) is committed to continuing its critical regeneration efforts post bushfires, which left over 12 million hectares burned and over a billion native animals affected. 

Healing our land is FNPW's global emergency appeal to help recover the land affected by the 2019/20 bushfires. Its aim is to restore habitats for threatened species, regenerate national parks with tree plantings and landscape management and purchase land for the purpose of creating new national parks.

The initiative has allowed FNPW to respond immediately by distributing much-needed funds to wildilfe rehabilitation groups across Australia. 

The impact of the Black Summer bushfires continues to affect many wildlife carers across Australia. Many are wondering how they will face another summer with so many fire-affected animals still in care, and so much infrastructure yet to be repaired. In August FNPW opened the National Wildlife Heroes Large Durable Asset Grant round, with $800,000 of funds available for the purchase or construction of wildlife treatment and rehabilitation facilities. This, and other initiatives to follow, will help to support wildlife and their carers on the long road to recovery.

FNPW has also announced a project to plant one million trees in Bushfire Recovery Nurseries around Australia. Trees from the Bushfire Recovery Nurseries will be integral in re-building wildlife habitats and will be planted in national parks across Australia, as well as other public and private lands affected by bushfires.

Given the impact of Australia's devastating bushfires in 2019/20, the Bushfire Recovery Nurseries wll be the first step in significant replanting following the impact of the bushfire on tree species' in gravely affected areas. 

FNPW is raising funds to plant the one million trees over the next five years in Bushfire Recovery Nurseries around Australia to propagate native plants for erosion prevention and restore animal habitats for species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo and Koala. 

FNPW is working with governments and community partners to assess priority areas in NSW, ACT, Victoria and South Australia. Trees from the Bushfire Recovery Nurseries will be planted in national parks across Australia, as well as other public and private lands that have been affected by bushfires. 

Burned-land-Photo-Carol Carter-&-Allan-Chawner
Burned-land-Photo-Carol Carter-&-Allan-Chawner
Bushfire-Recovery-Nursery-preparation
Bushfire-Recovery-Nursery-preparation
Bushfire-Recovery-Nursery-seedling-planting
Bushfire-Recovery-Nursery-seedling-planting
Bushfire-Recovery-Nursery-preparation
Bushfire-Recovery-Nursery-preparation

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As part of the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife’s Healing our Land initiative, our focus is to repair the damage inflicted on our country following the devastating bushfires.

With over 12 million hectares of national park and bushland affected and an estimated one billion native animals losing their lives, the initiative will focus on the regeneration and recovery of Australia’s flora and fauna.

As an urgent next step following the horrific bushfire season, we have awarded the first of our Emergency Bushfire Recovery Grants, with an initial focus on rehabilitating urgent, devastated areas in New South Wales and South Australia.

Please see below for further information.

NSW

Koori Country Firesticks Aboriginal Corporation/Birkenburn Cultural Burn Program & Workshops: Koori Country Firesticks Aboriginal Corporation (KCFSAC), in collaboration with private landholders Tom Gordon and Martina Shelley, will undertake a cultural burning program for Tom and Martina's rural property "Birkenburn" in the NSW Southern Tablelands. The project aims to regenerate and maintain biodiverse habitat on the property and protect it from wildfire, while encouraging and enabling surrounding landholders and community to do the same.

Aboriginal Site Recording Yengo NP and Surrounding Country: The bushfires affected extensive areas of the Yengo NP and hundreds of cave paintings and engravings sites may have been impacted by the fires. At the same time, unrecorded sites may be revealed as the bush is more open and overhangs and rock platforms are visible. Elder Warren Taggart and his team of volunteers will visit known sites and report back to National Parks (NP) with documentation for the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS).

Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council: Cultural surveys will be undertaken on the land damaged by the bushfires, to assess for cultural sites, landmarks and places of significance. Flora and fauna surveys will help with the regeneration, repopulation and natural migration of species which play an important role in our country.

AABR post-wildfire bush regeneration assistance: The Australian Association of Bush Regenerators will create marketing resources and host three weeding workshops in fire-affected high conservation areas where post-fire regrowth is being hampered by weed regeneration. Its purpose is to provide guidance and basic post-re bush regeneration skills to bushland managers and community volunteers.

Climate Change effect on World Heritage Area, Blue Mountains: The Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (BMWHI) has launched a project to monitor the impact of climate change on the ecosystems of the Blue Mountains of NSW, focusing particularly on the impacts for threatened upland swamps which face intensifying drought, fire and local flooding.

Wattleridge IPA Recovery: This conservation project aims to provide emergency support to sensitive ecological communities and associated fauna species habitats impacted by the recent fires in the Wattleridge Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).

SA

Saving the Nationally Critically Endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Speedwell: The Saving Mount Lofty Speedwell project is a targeted conservation initiative to expand the number of plants in the Mount Lofty Ranges from current estimates of approximately 200 plants to over 600 plants over a 2 year period.

Investigating the impact of bushfires on Kangaroo Island echidnas: This citizen science project aims to investigate echidna distribution, diet and health following the bushfires, which have added additional pressure on the endangered species.

Nest boxes for wildlife after fires on Kangaroo Island: As a result of the Kangaroo Island bushfires, a community nest box project has been initiated to provide immediate shelter for insectivorous bats, pygmy-possums, and several bird and reptile species. 

We will continue to provide updates on each of these projects as they progress.

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Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Sydney - Australia
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Project Leader:
Jenny Lewis
Sydney, Australia
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