After the ravaging bushfires of 2019-20 and catastrophic losses felt across the North Coast region, North Coast Local Land Services is still working hard to help land managers get back on their feet.
“Weeds are a significant challenge in the North Coast. With the bushfires leaving large areas of native vegetation burnt, weeds have had even more opportunity to take hold and spread. Helping landholders to manage these weeds has been a high priority for us,” said Louise Orr, General Manager of North Coast Local Land Services.
“The Government’s Bushfire Stimulus program has injected over $2.2 million into projects to control weeds in the North Coast. Since late last year, we have been working with Councils and Landcare Networks to deliver on-ground weed control on almost 1000 properties. Properties were selected through competitive grant rounds and then targeted based on their proximity to the fire scar and risk of spreading priority weeds into high-risk pathways”, Ms Orr added.
North Coast Councils, Landcare Networks and land managers have been critical partners in ensuring the program is a success. This funding has also supported over 70 casual and part-time jobs in weed control activities, helping North Coast businesses and communities to rebuild after the black summer fires.
“With on ground weed control projects being delivered across an estimated area of 6,000 hectares in 10 local government areas, this enormous collective effort by Councils and Landcare highlights the importance of integrated weed management in reducing the spread of priority weeds in the landscape over the long term,” Ms Orr said.
Clarence Landcare Program Manager Debbie Repschlager said, “the impacts of the 2019 firestorm on riverine vegetation is in some places minor and others devastating. For some trees that weren’t killed it has taken up to 12 months to see re-shooting.”
“In some areas the bushfire has left behind no native vegetation so with ample sunlight and space to grow, weeds have outcompeted the native regeneration. After the fires the weeds have been easily accessible and timely control work has provided a good opportunity to protect reshooting and regenerating native vegetation,” Debbie added.
The Clarence Landcare project incorporates many properties on private and public lands and is controlling weeds in 18km of high-risk pathways on the Nymboida River, Clouds Creek and Boyd River.
The North Coast Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022 outlines the priority weeds and their management requirements in the North Coast region and is supported by the recently published Weeds of the North Coast of NSW- A guide to identification and control.
Local government partners include Bellingen, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Nambucca Valley and Rous County Councils. Landcare Network partners include Border
Ranges Richmond Valley, Bellinger, Clarence, Richmond and Tweed Landcare Networks and Wilsons Creek Huonbrook Landcare.
If you would like further information on Regional Weed Programs, please contact the Regional Weeds Coordinator Brendan O’Brien on 0429815135 or contact your local Council Weeds Officer for information on local projects.