The War on Willows

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Ian James
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Ian James » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:03 pm

So Ghosta you are abondoning ship?

Maybe it is just as well.

I understand what you are saying but the whole point of NSF is to utilise the natural sequence, Utilise what grows naturaly, not find better plants to do the job of weeds. The weeds will always be there..... so they will still have to be dealt with and then as you are suggesting, introduce alternative plants to do the job of weeds because you want to avoid the negatives associated with the weeds. You need to get real mate.

Utilising the weeds is an ecconomic method of farming, it makes some sense because then weeds are supplied by nature. You don't have to buy seed and plant. Also a lot of money and effort is saved by not having to control and exterminate weeds.

So you do miss the point.

I know you are concerned about attracting farmers to the NSF theories, well don't worry about that. NSF will either work or it wont, if it does then farmers will take it up regardless of their misgivings and nervousness about farming with weeds because it will make dollars and sense.

If it does not then.... too bad. Someone will have to come up with a better idea and quickly.

Stringybark
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Location: Wagga Wagga. NSW

Re: The War on Willows

Postby Stringybark » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:18 pm

If you "discovered" an appropriate plant to replace Willows. One that did the same repair work and thrived in the same conditions as a Willow.
Wouldn't it therefore vigourously establish in the area it was released (planted) and spread? Out-competing most other plants there, because conditions were ideal for the "new" plant?
Humans, being the impatient beings that we are, may not like this threatening overtaking plant. But hang on! It's doing repair work. Didn't those Willows do exactly the same thing?

We have plants in Australia that can and do repair systems. Use what we have now. Don't naively believe that we can make things as they were hundreds of years ago. The myopic anti-Willow brigade need to get a new prescription for their glasses.

What the doubters need to see, is evidence of an area, after Willows have been succeeded by the next generation of plantlife in the evolution of a river system under natural repair.
Seems to me that those that don't like willows are too lasy to find out for themselves. The information is out there for all to see.

I feel extremely confident in predicting that there won't be a "better more suitable" riparian plant than the willow anywhere on this planet.
Perhaps Ghosta might be off in a global search as we speak?

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:54 pm

My thanks to Tanya Doody, CSIRO, for this poor science.

Water savings from willow removal
Reference: 10/151


*1. Removing willows growing in the stream bed of creeks and rivers could return valuable water resources to river systems, new CSIRO research has found.

*2. A CSIRO study into the water use of willows found more than five and a half megalitres of water could potentially be saved annually per hectare of willow canopy area removed, where trees were in-stream with permanent access to water.

“One megalitre is one million litres – the volume of water used by three average households in a year. So the evaporative loss of one hectare of willows is enough for about 17 households each year,” says project leader, Tanya Doody.

*3. “A comparative study of native vegetation water use lining the same watercourse, showed willows could be replaced with native vegetation and the annual water savings would be maintained.”

Funded by Water for Rivers – a public company established by the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victorian governments to recover water for the Snowy and Murray Rivers – the project results have now been published in the Journal of Environmental Management.

Water for Rivers Project Director Phil Deamer says that an estimated 170 hectares of in-stream willows in rivers in northeast Victoria – and a further 50 hectares in the Yanco Creek, Murrumbidgee, Yass and Murray rivers – have been permanently removed so far.

*4. “This removal has returned 1200 megalitres of water per year that was previously lost to willows,” Mr Deamer said.[/b]

This is part of a media release by CSIRO last month and reported at the beginning of this post.

I am now going to attempt to show how the so-called science is nothing less than poor science put up under the pretext of good science.

I contend it is nothing more than poor, reductionist science,

I issue a challenge to MS Doody and CSIRO, the Willows Task Force and the Federal DEHWA to show proof that the following science is a total and complete contradiction to their stated outcomes.

Intro:

Aguably, willows are the world's premier riparian plants - they are used in every continent except Antarctica for riparian and stream restoration works. Prof Haikai Tane notes from his work in the River Murray, Billabong, Murrumbidgee and Shoalhaven watersheds that Australia willow communities are excellent nurse crops encouraging the natural regeneration of casuarinas as well as providing prime habitat for water dragons, marsupial water rats and platypus; and from beneath the water perspective, willow root plates are veritable supermarkets of macroinvertebrates, yabbies and fish. (Tane)

Let's take a look at *1.
[/b]Removing willows growing in the stream bed of creeks and rivers could return valuable water resources to river systems, new CSIRO research has found.

Note the wording "could". Removing willows...........could return valuable water resourses...." The role of willows in stream plays a very important role. The reasons I have elaborated on above. Could or could not....?

There is almost without exception any NATIVE plants that can now perform this role presently as ALL of our creeks and streams and rivers have been turned into fast running drains.

Back to the point could. Willows definitely take water out of the streams. Whether you are in or outt of the stream we know every living organism needs water. That's a given.

But willows by taking water up COOL the local climate. Porkorny has reported that 1 mature willow is equivalent to 28 1.5kW reverse cycle air conditioners (almost standard equipment in most homes). In the process of photosynthesis when water is taken up by the willow as a liquid and turned into a gas as transpired water vapour the water absorbs heat, the result is the air around and under the willow is cooler.

We all know this from our high school physics. Here is a reminder from Wikipaedia:

Two of the more common forms of latent heat (or enthalpies or energies) encountered are latent heat of fusion (melting) and latent heat of vaporization (boiling). These names describe the direction of energy flow when changing from one phase to the next: from solid to liquid, and to gas.

In both cases, the change is endothermic, meaning that the system absorbs energy on going from solid to liquid to gas. The change is exothermic (the process releases energy) for the opposite direction. For example, in the atmosphere, when a molecule of water evaporates from the surface of any body of water, energy is transported by the water molecule into a lower temperature air parcel that contains less water vapor than its surroundings. Because energy is needed to overcome the molecular forces of attraction between water particles, the process of transition from a parcel of water to a parcel of vapor requires the input of energy causing a drop in temperature in its surroundings.

Now the second thing to note is this. If Global Warming is occuring WHY are we removing all the air conditioners from the system. Air conditioners require water to function to COOL the air !! Take willows out as CSIRO suggest and the landscape around the removal area becomes hotter.

Next, and CSIRO make no mention of this fact: The willows transpire water during the day plus store water in their plant tissues both as water and biomass. 50% of the willow is H2O whilst the other 50% is biomass.Plus they use the short water cycle when conditions are right to recover daily water as dew meaning they don't require water from the river.


Biomass is carbon, hydrogen and oxygen based. Nitrogen and small quantities of other atoms, including alkali, alkaline earth and heavy metals can be found as well. Metals are often found in functional molecules such as the porphyrins which include chlorophyll which contains magnesium.

Plants in particular combine water and carbon dioxide to form sugar building blocks. The required energy is produced from light via photosynthesis based on chlorophyll. The sugar building blocks are the starting point for the major fractions found in all terrestrial plants, lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose.[4] Wikipaedia

So we chop down a willow weighing say 10 tonnes.

What have we lost from the local ecosystem permanently by the willow removal is:

*28x 1.5kW airconditioners
* 5000l of water + the recovered daily water cycle (which could be as much as 7x 5000l (Amazon basin recovers/recycles its water 7 times) PLUS
* 5 tonne of sequested, stable carbon as well as the water used to make those C based molecules.

Do as CSIRO suggest, and the local ecosystem LOSSES ALL of the above.

Point *2.
A CSIRO study into the water use of willows found more than five and a half megalitres of water could potentially be saved annually per hectare of willow canopy area removed, where trees were in-stream with permanent access to water.

Let's look closely at these results.

5,500,000m litres saved per hectare if we chop down 1 hectare of willow trees......CSIRO data. They tell us this will supply water for 17 homes for a year.

So let's now do our maths.

I hectare = 10,000m2
Say there are willows at 10m spacings that's 566 willows/hectare.

Do as CSIRO suggests and the ecosystem loses the folowing services:

566x 28 = 15,848 air conditioners that's 1x 1.5kW aircon for everyone of the 15,848 homes running and costing nothing to run.
566x 5000l of water or 2,830,000l or 2.83ML LOST to the system + what the plants would reabsord every day from the short water cycle + 7x the daily water cycles and finally we have lost
566x 5 tonnes or 2830 tonnes of biomass. (some one could calculate the sequestered C).

Can you see where all this is going??

The brilliant Project Director, Phil Deamer says that an estimated 170 hectares of in-stream willows in rivers in northeast Victoria – and a further 50 hectares in the Yanco Creek, Murrumbidgee, Yass and Murray rivers – have been permanently removed so far.

CSIRO claims that this "saves" 220ha x 5.5Ml =1,210ML of water.

In fact, I contend that the ecosystem services lost to NE Victoria and Yanco Creek, Murrumbidgee, Yass and Murray rivers by this mindless and reckless actions are:

556 x 28 x 220 = 3,486,560 units of 1.5kW cool air conditioning to the area.
220 x2.83ML = 622.6 ML of water permanently lost from the system + daily water cycle losses and
220 x2830 tonnes = 655,600 tonnes of biomass

None of this wholistic information is taken into account by CSIRO.

You can draw your own conclusions.

Next.
*3. “A comparative study of native vegetation water use lining the same watercourse, showed willows could be replaced with native vegetation and the annual water savings would be maintained.”

And this is the most interesting and telling statement by the nativist nazis. All plants live, breath and transpire. All plants provide a function. Is this all about function or is this all about some fabled belief that native plants will rescue us from the current dilemnas facing the world.

Why destroy a perfectly funtioning ecosystem that provides ALL the following and above ecosystem services just because they are NON NATIVE??

Other lost ecosystem services include:
*modifying diurnal temperature via evapotranspiration....and absorbing radiant heat. 1 Willow is equivalent to 28 reverse cycle air conditioners
[*]reduce evaporation by shading the river
[*]reduced evapotranspiration because they are deciduous for 3-5 months
[*]prevent water losses to the system by slowing velocities and preventing both stream banks and instream erosion.
[*]willows replicate the role once played by reed bed wetlands and mimic and perform a similar role re-instating landscape function
[*]increased the fertility of the wetland system by capturing and storing Carbon, the leaf litter is nor toxic to native fish like some native species (red river gums)
[*]retaining sediment in the system
[*]retaining organic matter in the system
[*]refugia for fish, platypus, crustaceans etc
[*]filtering water and thereby
improving water quality
[*]acting as primary colonisers to stabilize and secure the stream bed and banks for the secondary colonisers....mainly natives inc Casuarinas etc.
[*]recycling the daily water cycle and preventing water losses from the system (the opposite to what CSIRO's research shows)
* provides fodder for stock in drought times

The work done by SCU in Baramul showed that the macro-invertebrate count in the willow lined nsf reach of Widden Brook at Baramul was far in excess of the native reach in the National Park above Baramul. The results surprised even the scientists doing the work.

So, in conclusion the statement made by CSIRO in the edited article above states "
“This (willow) removal has returned 1200 megalitres of water per year that was previously lost to willows,” Mr Deamer said, is nothing short of false and erroneous. As I said at the very beginning of this post:It's PURE CLAPTRAP !! and as supposedly, objective scientists, they should bow their heads in shame.

Happy to hear from Tanya Doody and Phil Deamer.
Last edited by duane on Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jodi James
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Jodi James » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:20 am

Thanks for that Duane, interesting, When Ian and I started NSF in The Avon catchment we had all the support we could ask for from the Avon Catchment Council, resources etc etc, the moment we mentioned Willows, they did a massive back peddle and basically told us that they wouldn't support us if we planted willows. Whatever happened to greening Australia? It makes me seriously wonder who the hell is running our government departments. Such a beautiful tree. I loved the trusty willow as a child, one of many pastimes of climbing them and shading under them. It's very sad that they are so blinded by the text book, why don't the scientists go and study the devastation we are doing clearing the willows instead of growing them. leave them alone! They are good for the environment at least they are better than a oily eucalyptus. Go put your time and energy into global warming!
Open mindedness opens wisdom

Shirley Henderson
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:07 am

Here is the result of NPWS work on willow removal along the 10km reach of Mannus Creek.

During the flooding rains the dam wall on Mannus Lake broke releasing all that water, collecting all the dead willows and causing absolute havoc below in the Tooma Valley.....photos already posted.

Image

Shirley Henderson
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:09 am

Image

Shirley Henderson
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:10 am

Image

Shirley Henderson
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:12 am

Image

Shirley Henderson
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:15 am

The above photos are the result of NPWS work on willow removal along the 10km reach of Mannus Creek.

During the flooding rains the dam wall on Mannus Lake broke releasing all that water, collecting all the dead willows and causing absolute havoc below in the Tooma Valley.....photos which were posted earlier are on page (1 and 2) of this topic.

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:01 pm

Jodi

The CWCMA and local councils have been busily removing willows along the Macquarie River here in NSW. The recent , massive flooding seen recently caused untold damage where the willows were removed.

A local contacted the local paper complaining and suggested that if proper science was conducted by the CWCMA, perhaps in a reach of stream or river, willows could be cleared along one section and left along another.

Next flood event compare the difference.

The answer was "No!"

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:03 pm

Thanks for posting these latest pics Shirley.

As a bushcare regenerator, may I ask what is your considered, professional opinion on the 'bushcare job' that the NPWS did??

i.e., is it common practice to leave the job in this state??

The agency cleared a 10km reach along Mannus Creek through the park and just left thousands of tonnes of dead willows lying there to be picked up by the flood that came and decimated the community at Tooma down stream.

There is I believe, a very strong legal case for negligence and a failure to provide a duty of care on the part of the agency to the community downstream.

Why should the good people of Tooma have their livelihoods and farms decimated by such careless and reckless actions.

It's time those responsible were subject to a Class Action for damages.

Shirley Henderson
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Shirley Henderson » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:06 pm

Duane, I do not myself carry out this kind of large scale contract work. I supervise and work with volunteers. Through careful planning we only remove what is necessary at a very slow pace. I avoid herbicides as much as possible and am able to, through trial and practice rejuvenate the reserve I work in. I choose not to work with contractors as I do not agree with the fast clearing for regeneration purposes. I consider the work of bush regeneration as more like a gardening project and should not be inflicted on huge expanses that should be left alone.
In my opinion Duane, I have already had a quiet thought to myself how careless it was to leave those willows or any piles of debris lying about like that.
I have recently had contractors working next to me and their piles of woody weeds are often piled high and it is the council’s job to come and clear them up. Sometimes they get left for longer periods due to councils commitments elsewhere. The contractors chase them up. I believe that it is the people stacking up those piles to ensure they are removed in a timely manner. I am always concerned that some kids are going to throw a match in them where I work.
I am not sure who employed the contractors but I believe the system should be: remove willows, remove the rubbish, and continue at a pace that they can manage. If they were not planning on taking the rubbish away themselves then they should have ensured the people who were responsible, removed the willows before continuing the work.
Normally for OH&S and safe environmental work practices purposes, you would carry out an assessment first.
I am not familiar with Mannus creek but an assessment should take all possible scenarios into consideration, such as:
Piles of Willows are a hazard because
• Flood
• Fire
• Harbouring snakes & spiders
• Covering the ground space and inhibiting regeneration
• Blocking access.
• Causing erosion

And anything else relevant to Mannus creek site

I was taught to remove any waste ASAP.

Angela Helleren
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Angela Helleren » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:06 pm

Last month I read fresh water crays were walking out of the river at Swan Hill to escape toxic blackwater.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/creep ... 1a4cg.html

A :( end to a beautiful giant Murray Cod.

PS In the BBC documentary A Farm of the Future you will see cattle enjoying the willow added to their diet. :D
Many hands make light work.
Unfortunately, too many hands stirring anti clockwise, has spoiled mother natures recipe.
Back to basics.

Angela Helleren
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Location: Victoria

Re: The War on Willows

Postby Angela Helleren » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:30 am

Duane, this thread opened with an article you posted re a 'scientific study'. The words of that article....resurfaced in my mind.

Quote- A CSIRO study into the water use of willows found more than five and a half megalitres of water could potentially be saved annually per hectare of willow canopy area removed, where trees were in-stream with permanent access to water.

“One megalitre is one million litres – the volume of water used by three average households in a year. So the evaporative loss of one hectare of willows is enough for about 17 households each year,” says project leader, Tanya Doody. I can't help but wonder how many households now have those 'willow' water savings infiltrating their homes?

“A comparative study of native vegetation water use lining the same watercourse, showed willows could be replaced with native vegetation and the annual water savings would be maintained.” How could replacing willows with native vegetation maintain the annual water savings? Native vegetation also requires water to survive!

Water for Rivers Project Director Phil Deamer says that an estimated 170 hectares of in-stream willows in rivers in northeast Victoria – and a further 50 hectares in the Yanco Creek, Murrumbidgee, Yass and Murray rivers – have been permanently removed so far.

“This removal has returned 1200 megalitres of water per year that was previously lost to willows,” Mr Deamer said.

“At an average market price for high security water of $2,000 per megalitre in NSW and Victoria, the five and a half megalitres per hectare per year used by willows is worth over $2.4m of water entitlement.” Pretty much says where the priority lies with this study...show me the money! Perhaps Ms Doody should have written her last sentence(as seen below) in BOLD print for Mr Deamer

Willow removal programs have been in place in south eastern Australia for many years with removal commencing in the upper Snowy and the East Gippsland and lower Snowy area around 1999 with an aim to improve water quality, reduce willow roots obstructing water ways, and improve flows.Funny, Willow Warriors don't seem to mind the rocks that create rapids! Should we allow rowers to remove the rocks?

According to Ms Doody, the removal of willows leaves more water in streams, and replacing them with native vegetation like red gums, which have a lower evaporative loss and are more ecologically suited to Australian riparian areas, enables most of the water savings to be maintained.Refer above. It's amazing the difference one four letter word can make!

“However, if the net overall benefit of willow removal from creeks and streams is to be properly evaluated, the various other benefits and disadvantages of removal must also be understood and included in decision making,” Ms Doody said.

....................................................................................................................................................

My heartfelt congratulations to Peter Andrews OAM. Well deserved though long overdue! Cheers :D
Many hands make light work.

Unfortunately, too many hands stirring anti clockwise, has spoiled mother natures recipe.

Back to basics.

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:13 am

The POOR science conducted by CSIRO and others, accompanied by the lies and misconceptions of Government agencies, is truly outstanding. This willows propaganda is going to come back and bite all of them on the bum (excuse my french).

The great failure in the war on willows is the fact that they, the warriors, have ALL ignored the real evidence for the sake of keeping their HEADS IN THE TROUGH OF THE PUBLIC PURSE !!!

They have ALL failed to do their proper due diligence and in so failed in their duty of care to looking after this country's environment.


I will be posting an article written by Michal Kravcik outlining why this is the case SOON.


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