Monthly Archives: November 2015

Planned burning – an ecological disaster?


One of the remaining giants in this forest; killed and felled by last season’s planned burn. Note the lack of big trees in the forest beyond.

In the wake of  fuel reduction burning last Autumn, we asked “Can a low intensity, planned burn be too hot?“. Early indications suggested that at least some of last season’s planned burns had a devastating impact on high conservation value, old-growth trees in the forest. Those observations, though concerning, were only anecdotal; no-one had gone into the forest after the burn to systematically assess it’s impact. So, last Sunday, 22nd November 2015, our Citizen Science project got underway. Our goal was to survey 50 m wide transects through the Tames Rd planned burn, count the number of trees greater than 70 cm in diameter and assess how the fire had impacted them. In particular, we wanted to know these things about each tree:

Large areas of the canopy were severely burnt and now trying to recover.

Large areas of the canopy were severely burnt and are now trying to recover.

  1. Was it dead or alive before the fire,
  2. Was it burnt by the planned burn,
  3. If it was alive before the burn, was it now still alive, or dead,
  4. was it still standing, or had it been felled by the fire?

We split into two groups of about six, armed with tape-measures, gps, data-sheets, camera, picnic lunch and First Aid kit. The going was pretty slow, as the forest contained about 20 trees/ha greater than 70 cm dbh. Much of this forest had been heavily logged, perhaps 40-50 years ago, and regeneration from that disturbance has created a dense stand of poles. We had planned to survey at least two 1 km transects, but it took each group about 3 hours to walk a 550 m transect – there were lots of trees to measure!

So, what did we find? Continue reading


Planned burns – what’s the impact?

SSFA Citizen Science and Data Collection Rev A

Message to Minister Lisa Neville

SSFA24 (2) low resOn a recent Wednesday evening about 40 people attended the Old Flour Mill in Euroa for an update on the Strathbogie Forest Campaign. Most stayed around for a photo afterwards. The passionate message the group wanted to send to Minister Neville was clear and loud – YES to a VEAC investigation into management of forest on public land in the Strathbogie Ranges!! Dear Minister – can you hear us?