Burra Landcare

Burra is an example of a Landcare group which was steaming ahead, and then has had its slow periods. Over the years, the group has successfully obtained or hosted grants, such as Rivercare, National Heritage Trust, and the Envirofund. Most of these have been to do with restoration of native vegetation, while a major project in the Envirofund grant was for large scale removal of silver poplars along Burra Creek.

The group continues its ups and downs, largely as a result of enthusiasm for projects or the topics of invited speakers. Monthly meetings with invited speakers have become two-monthly events, as speakers and topics dry up. The Group's focus in recent years has been not so much on on-ground activities, as meetings with external speakers. One of the depressing things about revegetation projects has been the change in climate. After much effort, it is disheartening to see the effort and hopes of tree planters go the way of the continuing drought.

Burra Landcare has also organised Weeds Information Days for local landholders, where local Palerang Council Weed Officers present on local problem weeds and how best to treat them. The group has put on free BBQs for those that attend. The Molonglo Weeds Trailer has also been utilised at one of these events offering a source of information with flyers and interpretive posters etc., for landholders to read and take home. These activities are promoted as a "Beat the Council weeds notice" events. The Intermittent community newsletter is a monthly posting which goes out to a large, local subscription, and offers valuable promotional space for the Landcare group regularly. It is utilised for the promotion of events of this kind, in addition to the promotion of guest speakers at upcoming meetings.

Issues:

Problem weeds:

  • St Johns Wort
  • Serrated tussock
  • African lovegrass
  • Sweet Briar
  • Paterson's curse

Local developments are also a topic the Burra Landcare group is concerned about, for example the ACTEW water pipeline which is planned to run straight through the Burra valley, through stands of mature remnant vegetation (Grassy Box Woodland EEC), and into Burra Creek well upstream of the water's destination, Googong Dam. There is great concern that the long-term, high volume flow may permanently damage the creek, by its scouring action. A walk organised by the group to allow people to view for themselves the creek as it is now was extremely well attended - by 150 locals and general public from elsewhere. Again, a sausage sizzle began the day, while ACT Rangers, and other experts, provided information about the area and the creek.

Opportunities:

Local CMA NR Officers to recommend possible speakers for the Burra Landcare Group.

Following Cooma NR Officer presentation on local threatened reptile species (and the implications these have on Landcare activities), DECC involvement with the group will be encouraged. Survey and monitoring activities with DECC and Burra Landcare will help identification ability of the group for the local reptile species, and hence help monitor for species presence throughout group area (among other benefits). In particular, a survey of the Pink-tailed Worm lizard on Burra Creek would be a possible project for the group.