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Placement GIFNewsletter of the Friends of Scott Creek
Conservation Park

No. 147, September, 2012

The President's Words:

The pressure has been on the last couple of months to try and re-visit and eradicate all boneseed from previously treated sites. What a revelation it has been. It seems they have their own source of growth hormone as rate of regrowth is something to behold. However our regular band of stalwarts has been able to get back to many of our sites and the pressure will continue for some time yet especially during their “high vis” stage.

Our visit to Banrock Station although low in numbers, was a very enjoyable day. The water was quite high and only a small number of waders were seen. Black-winged Stilts, Australian Grebes, and the odd egret were about as were the very vocal and briefly glimpsed, Clamorous Reed- warblers. We had very good views of a group of fun loving Apostlebirds and the equally fun-loving magpie at the restaurant whose specialty was stealing food from unattended plates. I also had a brief glimpse of a small flock of Regent Parrots flying past as we left.

Last weekend we set up a stall at John Wamsley’s open garden. Despite numbers being well down on last year and Saturday being a fairly cold and miserable day, we managed to gain four new members and sell many bird brochures. During and after his walks, John would plead the case for our under-rated understorey and battered biodiversity with a final exhortation to join our merry band and discover the joys of restoration first hand. It was good to talk to so many people with an interest in the environment over the two days and I thank Sue, Jenny , Lorraine and Chris for helping to “man” the stall. A special thanks to John and Proo for inviting us and giving us this opportunity to promote the Group.

 The Foundation for Australia ’s Most Endangered Species was the beneficiary of the gate takings from this weekend and I was heartened to read in their newsletter that the concept of giving nature legal rights is gaining momentum. An example is in the USA , where a town has legislated that local wetlands, rivers and streams “possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish”. Interestingly, Bolivia has also passed legislation giving nature equal rights to humans. The article states that these laws are significant because “they empower communities to reject government actions that threaten the environment” Although we have laws to protect many flora and flora species they do not necessarily protect them from threatening processes. We still have perverse incentives such as “offsets” for “significant environmental benefit” which allow clearance of remnant vegetation if some “equivalent areas are revegetated” or money is simply paid into a fund which may not even end up benefiting the original ecosystem that was destroyed. The South Australian Government called this legislation a “win win” for the environment and those benefiting from the clearance. Had they had a voice, I would doubt the 3-400 year old red-gums cleared for vineyards (which I witnessed) would have concurred. With the inexorable march of progress, ongoing fragmentation and destruction of Australia ’s environment seems destined to continue. The opportunity to increase the level of protection for our remaining habitat is one that should embraced with enthusiasm and great haste, however I think we may be watching this space for some time.

If you want to read the full article on this initiative go to www.gmagazine.com.au/features/2891/should-nature-have-rights 

JW at stall

The weekend stall-JW in owner/maker felt hat

Boneseed removal (as per Pres. Words)

Liberating a rock-face-Boneseed before

Workwall with bone seed

Liberating a rock-face-Boneseed after

Image 3

 

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Friends of Parks Presidential Chat #35:

31 August 2012 Dear Friends of Parks member groups Promoting Friends of Parks This President’s Chat is to bring you up to date on our efforts to promote Friends of Parks, improve recruitment and see what we need to do to increase awareness of our activities and, in so doing, of the protected reserve system. This was one of the priority areas identified at the Friends of Parks AGM in May for the Board to concentrate on over the coming twelve months, namely how better to manage ourselves regionally and how to raise the Friends of Parks profile internally and externally. Regionalisation is an ongoing project with talks being initiated with a number of regions and I’d hope to provide an update on progress shortly. So far we’ve conducted a couple of workshops focussing on our promotional initiative; attending were several Board members, representatives of member groups and, by invitation, departmental officers with particular expertise and/or experience of working with Friends groups in a variety of locations. I stress that this is a Friends of Parks initiative with DEWNR participating essentially as partner and facilitator. The eventual outcomes will be circulated for member group consideration and eventually “road-tested” with groups and individual volunteers to gain their feedback and fine-tune to ensure consistency with your aspirations and the core values of Friends of Parks. Our first workshop spent some time defining who we are, what we do and how best to describe ourselves in ways that have appeal and resonate positively with the wider community. The second workshop focussed on honing these outputs into the outline of a marketing plan aimed at raising the profile of Friends of Parks and, most importantly, recruiting more volunteers for our 120 member groups; at the same time we would hope to improve conservation outcomes for the protected reserve system. Being quiet achievers may be satisfying but perhaps we need to be a little more up-front in promoting what we do and why and where we do it.

After the Board considers the outcomes of the workshops we will start discussions and seeking feedback from member groups and a range of other stakeholders. We aim to reinvigorate the Friends movement by providing and articulating an identity that is coherent, contemporary and attractive to volunteers and the general public. But we need to ensure that what we propose has your support and general goodwill and will consult extensively to make this happen. If you’re attending the Forum in October in Naracoorte you’ll hear more from me on the subject but in the meantime I’d hope to be able to provide more detail of our thinking. I believe we need to adjust to changing circumstances but only consistent with our core values and to this end I’ll try to consult as much as is possible with member groups. I look forward to your feedback.

Kind Regards.

Lost 1

President, Friends of Parks

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For Better Or Worse:

One of our long-serving members, Dennis Smith (Sue’s brother) was the unfortunate victim of the tree collapse at Ironbank, after the recent wind storm. His condition was critical and it is due to the sterling work of the ‘ambos’ that he is with us and mending. Best wishes to him and his family. On the other hand, recent surgery on Donna Reid was very successful, with a large benign tumour being removed from her brain. She is recovering steadily from the operational trauma.
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Bird Banding:

Operationally, there is nothing to report. We have had the longest hiatus due to bad weather since we started our activity. Overseas, Liz Campbell is continuing work on the banding data and is keeping uis informed of her progress. She is looking at species diversity at several sites at present, but has yet to firm up her ideas on this facet of her work.
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John Butler asks that anyone attending working bees and going directly to site rather than to the meeting area at Gate 18, give the organiser a call the day or so before, in case of a change in plans.

As a safety measure when working in the park, consider carrying a switched on mobile phone if you have one, with Johns 0427 164 290 or Toms 0417 869 349 numbers stored. Let John and Tom know your mobile number. We have several two-way radios for members use which are available at working bees.
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Officebearers
If you have any queries about our Friends activities, please contact your the relevant office bearer:

President:    
Tom Hands       8388 2150,  68 Mahar Road., Cherry Gardens, 5157 Email:almanda11@bigpond.com

Secretary:
Don Reid          8388 2123,    224 Mt. Bold Road, Bradbury, 5153       Email: dre00249@bigpond.net.au

Treasurer:        
Donella Peters  83395639, 10 Boomerang Cres, Aldgate, 5154          Email: dld@internode.on.net

Saturday Working Bee Coordinator:
Tom Hands  8388 2150,  68 Mahar Road., Cherry Gardens, 5157       Email:almanda11@bigpond.com

Tuesday/Sunday Working Bees Coordinator:
John Butler          8278 2773    5 Trevelyan Court, Coromandel  Valley, 5051     Email: jhbutler@chariot.net.au:


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