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Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46

by Rainforest Rescue
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Create a Nature Conservation Reserve on Lot 46
Lot 46 - Thriving - Martin Stringer Photography
Lot 46 - Thriving - Martin Stringer Photography

Lot 46 – A New Nature Reserve is being Created!

This beautiful land – almost 28 hectares – that you worked so hard to restore from its VERY messy time as an oil palm nursery is about to become a registered nature reserve. This means that Lot 46 has been restored significantly so that it qualifies for a nature refuge certification.

From the Department of Environment and Science of Queensland, “The Nature Refuges Program targets suitable properties and works with the landholders of those properties where there is a mutual conservation interest.

To determine whether an area of land may be suitable for targeting as a nature refuge, the Department of Environment and Science assesses the land's biodiversity values against the Nature Refuges Program objectives and conservation priorities. This assessment considers the significance of the potential nature refuge at a property, landscape and strategic level. Potential nature refuges are those that:

  • at a property level, contain significant conservation values that are of a sufficient size, condition and placement in the landscape to remain viable in the long-term;
  • at a landscape level, increase representation of the state's biodiversity and establish or maintain landscape linkages and corridors;”

-  you can read more about that here

Of course, we know that the land around it has tremendous conservation value, as under the Qld Government’s Regional Mapping Scheme the property is located within biodiversity precinct 3B Coopers Creek, one of the three highest priority precincts in the Daintree Lowlands. Lot 46 exhibits Regional Ecosystem 7.3.10 which is described as being ‘complex mesophyll vine forest’ which is listed as ‘endangered’ under the Qld Vegetation Management Act 1999.

So – it’s a good place for a strong restoration project in order to help provide greater habitat connectivity and support for biodiversity. The work that went into restoring the land also, and first, had to go into cleaning things up. 

“The areas that were farmed were covered in brambles or wild raspberry, and even the pigs and cassowaries couldn’t get through it it was that thick,” Joe Reichl, Rainforest Rescue’s Land Manager for many years, said. “There was lots and lots of rubbish.”

And now there isn’t. Now it’s gorgeous and you can find evidence of Cassowaries and Musky Rat-Kangaroos…and more. 

And it will be certified a Nature Reserve within the next month or so.

Not only will we let you know when it’s official – but it will also have a new official name to celebrate its return to nature!

Rainforest Rescue is grateful to all the hands, all the sweat, the hours…and the financial support that went into recovering this property. Soon we’ll be able to point to this new nature reserve with pride and call it by its new name.

Stay tuned!

An early restoration planting
An early restoration planting
Lot 46 from Above
Lot 46 from Above
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Lot 46 Today - Silvia Di Domenicantonio
Lot 46 Today - Silvia Di Domenicantonio

What is a Nature Refuge? 

We're glad you asked! As part of our covenant with our supporters, we are required to Protect Rainforests Forever, it wouldn't do to have properties in hand that weren't protected by a state level NO DEVELOPMENT EVER agreement, right? Right. The system we use is the Queensland State Government's DES Nature Refuge Certification Program.

And a Nature Refuge, since you asked, is "...a voluntary agreement between a landholder and the Queensland Government. A nature refuge agreement acknowledges a commitment to protect land with significant conservation value, while allowing compatible and sustainable land uses to continue. Landholders with a nature refuge continue to own and manage their land for enjoyment and/or to generate an income. Each nature refuge is negotiated directly with the landholder through a nature refuge agreement."

Further, A nature refuge agreement is:

  • negotiated between the department and the landholder, and provides a framework for sustainably managing a nature refuge and protecting its significant values
  • tailored to suit the landholder’s management needs
  • able to be negotiated with owners of freehold land, leaseholders of State land, government corporations that are separate legal entities from the Queensland Government, local governments, private companies and nature conservancies
  • able to be negotiated over the whole or a portion of the property, depending on the conservation values and the landholder’s wishes
  • perpetual, registrable on title and binds successive owners or lessees of the land. A nature refuge is the best way landholders can ensure the good land management practices and conservation works they have initiated will be continued when future generations or new owners take over. So, if a property changes hands, responsibility for the nature refuge rests with the new owners or lessees.

That last piece there, that's the best part. A nature refuge agreement is PERPETUAL. 

That means it exists forever onward.

It's REGISTRABLE ON TITLE. 

That means that it holds successive owners - should there ever be any other owners - to make that Nature Refuge safe forevermore.

HOW DO WE GET THERE?

The process is pretty straightforward but it tends to take a LONG TIME. The way it works: 

  1. The department primarily works with landholders who have been targeted through its priority programs. An area is generally targeted for a nature refuge based on an assessment by a nature refuge officer that will consider the condition of the land, current land uses and management practices, and proposed future uses. The nature refuge officer will also determine whether a property is consistent with current conservation priorities of the Nature Refuges Program.
  2. If suitable, the nature refuge officer will explain the process of developing a nature refuge agreement and declaring a nature refuge and will discuss any concerns the landholder may have. If the landholder and the department wish to proceed, a draft nature refuge agreement is developed in consultation with the landholder.
  3. Each nature refuge agreement is negotiated directly with the landholder and tailored to suit the management needs of the property, the needs of the landholder and the outcomes that the Queensland Government considers important. Once both parties are satisfied with the contents of the agreement, the landholder and Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef or their delegate sign the agreement.

Rainforest Rescue currently holds 22 Nature Refuges - and we've put two properties back into the National Parks. We have 5 properties in the process to become Nature Refuges now. 

Sadly, they are in limbo at the moment because they aren't LARGE blocks - though some of them do connect and some of them do extend Wildlife Corridors.

WHAT CAN WE DO AND WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH LOT 46?

Well, one thing we can do is work with the Australian Land Conservation Alliance. They work to advocate on behalf of conservation organisations to help make conservation a priority Australia-wide.

We can also sign on to requests from Australian conservation groups in partnership to raise awareness in government for the benefit of conservation, something that benefits everyone. Recently we were asked to sign on to a letter in support of increased conservation funding from the Queensland government, alongside such terrific organisations as the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Bush Heritage, ALCA, Pew Charitable Trust, South Endeavour Trust, YINTJINGGA Aboriginal Corporation, EWAMIAN Aboriginal Corporation, Landcare Australia, Queensland Conservation, Queensland Farmers Association, NRM Regions Queensland, AgForce, MDH and Queensland Trust for Nature. Alliances of conservation and Landcare groups increases the awareness for conservation and managed land solutions that benefit all Australians, and ultimately, all life.

For Lot 46 we are keen to proceed with the Nature Refuge process. 

But if your other properties are in limbo at the moment, why would you add Lot 46 to the bottleneck?

Glad you asked. Lot 46 is significantly large enough at almost 28 Ha of restored rainforest that the Queensland DES will recognise it and move it through. 

We've been told. And so we believe. 

Lot 46 has gained significant media attention as a restoration success story.

To do that, we need your partnership and your financial support. Every time you put a property into the Refuge Assessment process, it's going to cost a few thousand dollars at least, plus the back and forth that comes with working with government processes. At the end - hooray! A nature Refuge is born and will be protected in perpetuity. Thanks to you!

We could not do this without you. I hope you really understand that you are making a real difference when you support this important work And it's our honour to do this with you.

Protect Rainforests Forever - with Rainforest Rescue!

Thanks for your interest and your support. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Nature Refuge process through the Queensland Government's DES, you can find out more, here.

Lot 46 1982
Lot 46 1982
Lot 46 2016
Lot 46 2016
From above and behind, Lot 46
From above and behind, Lot 46
Lot 46 - compare and celebrate what Nature can do!
Lot 46 - compare and celebrate what Nature can do!
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Cars dumped on Lot 46
Cars dumped on Lot 46

Every time we visit Lot 46, Cape Tribulation Rd in the Daintree rainforest, the incredible regeneration of this once devastated land, 27 hectares of it (or nearly 67 acres) speaks for itself as far as the Rainforest Rescue crew are concerned. To our absolute delight, we were able to take an unprecedented step and showcase this achievement to the nation a few weeks ago when we were contacted by the Australian ABC Television Network. A reporter here had heard about the work Rainforest Rescue supporters like YOU had made possible in completely rehabilitating Lot 46 – once a wasteland - and wanted to help us share this transformational journey to viewers across the country.

The story of Lot 46 is one that we love to tell. It is a rich one, full of emotion, commitment, blood, sweat and tears. Many dumped cars, hundreds of tyres, bunkers, housing pads and impenetrable invasive weeds, were all part of the initial stage of getting the land to a state where we could start regenerating – in the way of planting trees.

Since removing 180 tonnes of rubbish (almost 397,000 pounds) and planting over 45,000 trees, nine years later this land has come back so well that Rainforest Rescue has been advised to seek a Nature Refuge status early in 2020. Just a phenomenal comeback!

Endangered Southern Cassowaries are re-establishing their territories strongly here at this now beautiful rainforest land amongst many other thousands of flora and fauna.

From much time spent with the ABC network deep in Lot 46, a Landline episode was created an aired – a wonderful honouring of this land and the people – like YOU - that have made it come to be now a thriving rainforest. You can view the full episode here.

We hope that you feel very proud of the incredible comeback of this huge property in the Daintree lowlands rainforest– it is with your commitment to Rainforest Rescue that we have been able to accomplish this.

TYres on Lot 46
TYres on Lot 46
Healthy Tree after Planting
Healthy Tree after Planting
Flora coming back
Flora coming back
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Lot 46 looking back towards the Great Barrier Reef
Lot 46 looking back towards the Great Barrier Reef

A Vision Realized …

In August 2010 the Rainforest Rescue Board of Directors decided to take a risk and purchase a degraded property in the Low Land Daintree Rainforest – Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road. In order to do this, a large financial commitment was made, in the form of a bank loan, and an epic restoration project was launched.

We have all read stories about transformations; of land, of people, and of places. The best transformation stories offer a truly uplifting end result. Lot 46 is just such a story - a time-lapse adventure packed with passion, humanity, education, science, intelligence, and a whole lot of hard work.

Most of our longer-term donors will remember us telling the sad history of abuse of this property; from clearing for agriculture and the growing of Oil Palms to being used as a dumping ground for waste. The 26.7-hectare property was purchased by Rainforest Rescue in 2010 and sits at the base of Thornton’s Peak, the highest point in the Daintree lowland rainforest. Some of you will definitely remember that it’s an important ecological crossover as it forms part of the Coopers Creek catchment and is a ‘habitat zone’ for important fauna.

Since 2010 extensive revegetation has been undertaken, with thousands of rainforest plants sourced from Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Rainforest Plant Nursery. Revegetation works have been carried out by our Daintree Land Manager, hundreds of volunteers, supporters and various staff over the years.

We’ve shared bits and pieces of the incredible transformation of this property over the past 10 years with pride and excitement. We always hoped that this enthusiasm would ignite your passion for rainforest restoration and inspire you to join us as rainforest rescuers. We believe it’s up to all of us to make a difference.

Now we can happily report that finally after years of hard work, sweat and tears, lot 46 is now fully restored and secured! Thanks to you and hundreds of other committed supporters, the loan that was taken out to secure Lot 46 has now been paid in full! A huge restoration and rescue success story that would never have been possible without your support and the support of hundreds of individuals who believed in this project.

We are incredibly proud of this project and we know that you are with us. It couldn’t have happened without supporters as passionate as we were. Together, we’ve nurtured and realized this jewel in the crown success story.

Next Steps – Not quite there: To finalize the process, we will need further support in order to strip all development rights from Lot 46 and ultimately apply for Nature Reserve Status. Once we achieve this, Lot 46, will proudly stand as part of the undeveloped lower Daintree Rainforest, becoming a significant habitat corridor for wildlife and biodiversity – Rainforest Protected Forever.

Rainforest Rescue supporter planting on Lot 46
Rainforest Rescue supporter planting on Lot 46
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The reforested Lot 46 over time, from above
The reforested Lot 46 over time, from above

Everyone here at Rainforest Rescue doesn’t need any more proof that Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Rd, a 27 hectare (67 acres) property in the Daintree lowlands that is now reclaimed, restored and protected – thanks to YOU – is incredibly special.

However, it was quite wonderful to recently have a senior member of the Australian Government’s Department of Environment personally witness the comeback of this huge property at this year’s Tree Planting event in early May and comment on the tremendous success of this regeneration project. We removed so many tons of rubbish – from old cars and building materials to literally, rubbish – and put 50,000 trees in the ground to repair damaged rainforest. He said ‘everyone should be looking to this Project as a case study for regeneration…. it really is a remarkable contribution to the rainforest. More people should take your lead.’

We have pulled together the comparative images below to really highlight the impact that you have made – Thank You So Much! We are working to provide even more up to date aerial images, so we will be back in touch when we have them.

The images show the reforested area from above, over time and from the ground.

Just look at that rich, restored, thriving rainforest!

The support that you and others have provided for this project has been enormous, and year on year, we are so proud to show its progress to the world.

Recently attendees from the USA, from all across Australia and from the local community took a behind-the-scenes tour of Lot 46 with Rainforest Rescue’s Scientific Advisor, Dr. Robert Kooyman, as pictured below. Here Dr. Kooyman is pointing out different species within the restored property and as we toured the Land, Ulysses Butterflies fluttered through and there was abundant evidence of wildlife activity. Lot 46 is now home to many rare, endangered, vulnerable and threatened Daintree animals. And it is safe.

Thank you again for your support as we continue to foster the full restoration of this rainforest and achieve nature refuge status. Your ongoing support helps to make this possible.

We hope these progress reports make you feel great about the very real and tangible impacts you are having on protecting the unprotected Daintree lowland rainforest.

Warmest wishes for you and for the Rainforests,

The Rainforest Rescue Team

Lot 46's change from the ground
Lot 46's change from the ground
Dr Kooyman leading the tour on Lot 46
Dr Kooyman leading the tour on Lot 46
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Organization Information

Rainforest Rescue

Location: MULLUMBIMBY, NSW - Australia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Branden Barber
MULLUMBIMBY, NSW Australia
$10,636 raised of $99,953 goal
 
170 donations
$89,317 to go
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