I am looking to provide some balance into the whole willows debate.
Ghosta has a fixed position. He agrees with the current AG policy as shown by his bias in presenting two googled article highlighting the -ive point of view. He would be far more credible if he were to post some balancing arguments in the affirmative.
He stands condemned for his poor science, just like Kurt Kremer and the recent CSIRO work.
The important issue associated with the recent CSIRO work is not the science under question. But that it reports some facts in isolation, and the author even states that the findings have to be moderated in the real world. The danger, however, is how the science will be manipulated by people with vested interests. Its too much like the specious Intelligent Design advocates, in that a small disassociated fact can be built into an explanation for a “cult”.
The nature of the research work indicates that it specifically set out to depreciate the role of willows in the Australian landscape, otherwise why engage and report on such a narrow question. The only way to get an answer is to ask the researcher who funded the work and what were the terms of engagement. (The article says it was funded by a private company funded by the Australian, NSW and Vic governments.)
We have this idea that we can ameliorate erosion and river incision using native plants, plants that did not evolve in the un-natural landscape that we have created today. Native plants are a miss match to the problem as we are asking them to create a band-aid they were not conditioned to do. We need extraordinary plants to solve the problem. Willows are just one of those plants that can be temporally used in the landscape to give the natives the time to re-establish. We need to use all the resources we can muster because the damage is so severe. Are the Willow warriors declaring the damage is simply the emergence of just another weed or is there a deeper problem at heart. The emphasis on willow management ought not to be just pull them out no matter what, but on actually using them to best advantage.
I believe the author of the paper has placed herself in a very unenviable position. She cannot win as her work will be deliberately misused.
I went to the launch in June 2010 of the DVD associated with Willows removal program, the willow warriors, the organisers devoted a lot of space to the needs of canoeists to navigate our waterways. They were extolling a key advantage of willow removal was to allow canoeists unimpeded navigation. The willows were an obstacle. A few weeks later I heard on the ABC’s Bush Telegraph program, a canoeists advocating willows should be removed at a faster rate and more finances approved. The inference here is that the willow destruction people see the canoeists as a major beneficiary of willow removal. This seems a pretty minor priority for the removal of willows, and yet it is overtly promoted. Along a 6km section of Berrima Creek, for instance, $300,000 was spent on willow removal and planting native plants. There were still many willows remaining protecting the banks from erosion and the natives were struggling. There was a decided need for follow-up maintenance. Without the willows would there be ponds of water in the creek providing a habitat for fauna such a platypus, and navigation in some of the creek for the canoeists, or are we to accept that the water would pond up for some reason without naturally forming weirs. It seems to me that without the willows the canoeist would only have a drain on which to paddle in times of high flow. The point here is why bring up the needs of canoeists if willows are a major environmental issue worth spending hundreds of millions dollars on annually. Here is an example how vested interests have manipulated the real priorities to the awaiting community.
And to finish Ghosta said "Hopefully it will be easy to burn the piles of logs when conditions dry out"
Some people Ghosta just can't take advice
"it is far better to remain silent and thought a fool, then, to speak out and remove all doubt".
You can deal with everything except ignorance.
Here we have the Australian environmental expert, who has the answer to all our environmental woes....exterminate most plants, burn everything, drain the landscape, promote erosion, degrade and not aggrade the landscape......to mention just a few.
: Bad move Ghosta....