The War on Willows

Any questions or comments you have about Natural Sequence Farming processes. These could include general questions or ones about your personal problems.

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Please remember, Natural Sequence Farming has to be tailored for your specific problem and to follow general advice may create more problems for you.

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jenni
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby jenni » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:47 am

i am a bit late in this reply i know but i would like to refer back to a comment about thistles and other such VM downgrading fleece wool.i am a woolclasser and have recently started woolbuying.yes, there are discounts for high levels of VM in fleece.but.they are not so limiting as to need to require the outright elimination of whole species from our environment.they can be managed for.for instance, choosing shearing time just prior to the seed set of yr problem plant is highly effective.some growers-ourselves included- are choosing very fast growing merino wool genetics and shearing twice a year.this is producing great reults.not only is VM low but the tensile strengths are really high.stategic grazing is well covered in this forum - but grazing for fleece quality when you have prickly problems involves thoughtful grazing such as crash grazing freshly shorn weaner lms on young thistles.the young sheep eat anything (just ask my mothers roses).bathurst burrs are another one.they look horrible i agree not my favourite.but.it is actually the easiest and cheapest VM to take out in processing and doesn't attract a discount until you get really high levels.which leads me to conclude that processing is so improved that VM in fleece is not as bad as perhaps it may once have been,and i would ask that the benefits of a bio diverse farm ecology be balanced against any flc price discount when doing yr maths.funnily enough, grass seed is probably the worst and most significant in flc types

Ian James
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Ian James » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:15 pm

What a well considered and appropriate comment. I just wish more people would actually think through situations logically taking all facts and relevant data into account before deciding to jump on the " kill/destroy ask questions later" bandwagon.
Often the knee jerk reaction is 98% based on status quo 2% based on logic.

ghosta
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby ghosta » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:43 pm

To me it seems a matter of ones own philosophy. Some people are content to make do with whatever weeds the wind blows in and try to manage any delitirious effects that may acompany them, provided on balance there is a nett benefit.

My approach is quite different. I prefer to look at the principles behind natural sequence farming and say "we need to find the best plant to do the job", that way profits can be maximised and natural sequence farming may take on a bit more much needed credibility.

Ian James
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Ian James » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:55 pm

I think NSF is doing very well.....

Have you got information that suggests otherwise?

Lets see it.

ghosta
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby ghosta » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:25 am

I believe there is huge potential for the appropriate aspects of NSF to be adopted on a much more widespread scale. At the moment it is in its infancy. Many farmers Ive spoken to (in most Australian states) view it as an interesting curiosity, others reject apspects (such as use of weeds) as outright garbage. In my view the way forward is not to simply promote weeds for example, but rather to promote the use of the most appropriate plants. But in the absence of much research and the dogged stance adopted by some where every weed is defeded to the death irrespective of any delitirious effects, progres is likely to be slow.

Ian James
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Understand why willows are worth fighting for;understand NSF

Postby Ian James » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:09 am

Aspects of NSF are being taken up by all sorts of farmers in varying degrees.

This is the success that NSF is having.

There may not be an identifiable ground swell uptake of orthodox NSF principals per se but make no mistake, NSF is out there and is being noticed by more and more farmers both conventional and those searching the frontiers of the biological food web, soil and environmental landscape health.

You may be concerned that by sticking to and promoting orthodox NSF principals we may be alienating some of those we seek to enlist and convert but I tell you here and now, those involved in the cut throat economic reality of agricultural business will take notice and examine all trials and results that NSF adherents can produce and as these methods show their worth they will be incorporated gradually and thoroughly into all aspects of modern agriculture and landcare.

It is essential that we promote and advance the core principals of orthodox NSF because we are the guardians of the gift that Peter Andrews has created.

100% uptake of his methods and principals is definitely the goal but realistically, those who follow will pick, choose, trial and test all aspects of Peter's theories and they will find through trial and error those methods that they are most easily and economically able to incorporate into their enterprises and from this their faith in the methods will grow and further boundaries of NSF understanding will be explored and adopted.

If we do not strongly promote, clearly and loudly an orthodox approach to NSF then the message will be blurred and vague and those that wish to follow and trial will become confused as to what is exactly NSF is and what it is not. In this situation, who will know what to trial and how implement NSF principals into their farming systems.

Peter has shown himself to be an immensely deep and thorough thinker of incredible and astounding genius.

His delivery may appear to some to be rough or course but this is simply due to what is our great fortune, that he is not a product of the scientific educational system and has not learnt to speak the speak, he has not had the misfortune of many others to have had his mind and his manner moulded, conformed and gilded so that his thinking and genius becomes disguised and tempered to the point that it is totally indistinguishable and unremarkable from those other extruded scientists of the guild who jealously defend their factory made, production line mantras of fact.

This is exactly the great unpricable value of that which Peter has given us, the very uniqueness of his vision and the strength of the man to follow that vision and the gift of his nature that he fought to find his voice and enlighten us.

This is what we are fighting for, this idea, this hard won truth, those that follow this wisdom will do as they will but it is not for us who have taken the challenge to spread and teach to pick and choose which of Peter's ideas we like and those we don't. It is our role to teach and promote understanding of his vision in its purest form so that others may understand the vision as we have and then be emancipated to use that wisdom as best they are able in each and every landscape they encounter.

Understand this; Peter's vision is now the property of the global conscious. It will morph and it will grow and like a religion it will survive because to those of us who understand, our salvation depends on it.

The war on willows and our stance against it is the frontier of the concious understanding of what NSF is, the very coal face, understand why willows are worth fighting for and you understand NSF.

This is the ground we choose to stand and defend.

So, NO! :evil:

Do not destroy the willow; nature has been tested through two hundred thousand million years and more. You scientific nit wits! You think you know better with your twenty years of knowledge. I think NOT!

Nature is repairing your damage in ways you do not understand. Stand back and listen, do you not feel the power of two hundred thousand million years of selection?

THIS is credibility.

How dare you claim to know more? HOW DARE YOU?

Go eat some humility.

ghosta
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby ghosta » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:36 am

Interisting post and I agree with some of it.

Peters work needs to be put in perspective. There is nothing magical about this worlk, he is obviously an astute observer of natural systems and has adopted a number of practices some of which are reasonably common practices (like erosion contro measures for example) and others he has developed himself. Colectively, and for conveniencee referto them as NSF.

There is no whole package, no-one has to adopt all his ideas, nor should they. Some of his theories and explanations are well proven and no doubt some will be proven wrong.

Some people get so hung up on his words that they forget the principles behind what he is doing. Just because he uses willows or thistles does not mean that they are an essential compoent...especially when they can have negative effects and there are alternatives that can be used. Some plants are probably even more effective and have no delitirious effect. But to find these plants some researh is needed, an whilst individual farmers can do a part, government bodies (and the like) have the resources to do the research.

Sticking doggedly to defending willows just because they are able to serve the purpose required of them and simply ignoring the negative effects and insulting those who point these effects out, is counterproductive, and enough to make highly rational, intellegent, and forward thinking farmers and scientists to turn away from his ideas.

These same farmers and scientists need to think outside the square, just as proponents of NSF need to do, and look at the PRINCIPLES. Narrow thinking will and is holding back the adoption of NSF techniques more generally.

jenni
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Location: holbrooknsw

Re: The War on Willows

Postby jenni » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:50 am

so the thread here has moved from willows to weeds in general... good... i think the assumption that it is a philosophy to "take whatever weeds the wind blows in " is a little inflammatory and shows a complete misunderstanding of the concepts put forth on this site.i don't think that anyone is saying that they want a whole paddock of thistles.i personally, and i think i can speak for the others, do not want or think it enviable a whole paddock of ANYTHING.these maligned plants just have their place like any other, and there prevalence is more often than not the work of us.i would love paddocks of lush grass for our flock to graze on, but i shamefully admit, that through ignorance, i have done things to areas that means that this is not always the case.the last couple of years i have been doing a lot of study and observing and its just so BLOODY OBVIOUS that spending yr time and money trying to "eradicate weeds" would be laughable pastime if it wasn't such a deadly serious destructive course of action.
in our experience over the last couple of years (since we had the "epiphany")we have made the best positive changes to our environment by adding rather than taking away.by this i mean strategic additions of organic matter, and "no-kill" pasture cropping, and of course tree planting. this fab rain has made it all the more obvious the differences to the countryside made by different practices.the succession of plants is fascinating.
one of the observations i have made about modern industrial agricultural philosophy (if you can really call it that) is that there is a big focus on "cause and effect" problems and cures" and what i call 'control and action".it seeks to encapsulate massively complex series of relationships in to simple products and then fools us in to thinking that the science they use is so complex it can only be understood by the scientists, agronomists and perveyors of fine chemicals.the most heartbreaking idea i see perpetuated through modern ag is that we have to be in CONTROL of our environment,that our success and our yeild and outcomes are dependant totally on our ACTIONS and that we must have our methods and inputs exactly right and that we must ACT when we see an undesirable plant growing.that we must CHOOSE every plant that grows on our properties, that our environment must be SOLELY OUR DESIGN.at worst,this leads people to kill themselves when they inevitably fail.at best this leads to monocultures
i have heard people say they have been trying for years to get rid of the barley grass but every year it comes back worse.this is so sophisticatedly simple.let it grow in abundance, let it burn itself out,prepare yrself for the inconveniences in the mean time.you've already taken losses for years anyway you may as well bite the bullet and put up with a bit of interim pain. let it feed the soil and change the conditions.direct drill oats dry before germination and manage the paddock as if it were a perrenial pasture.
one of the most important things i have learnt (and i admit this takes a little faith) is to manage a paddock for what you want there but may only be present in small quantities,rather than looking at a paddock of undesirables and trying to KILL IT.CAUSE YOU'LL KILL IT ALRIGHT.YOU'LL KILL EVERYTHING.and if youv'e got a degraded area where not even weeds will grow then you've got real problems.
i don't want areas of thick thistles (which i have) but i know they they won't be there forever and that the next stage may well be clover ( i have seen this before).it also tells me that the stock need to stay off here while some repair work is done and they can return intermittently when we move in to the next plant phase.
that said we still use some chemicals because sometimes a bit of roundup is pretty bloody handy for an estblishment.eg for large scale tree plantings. but it is used as a tool to help ADD to the environment, rather than just to take away. i have had tree planting failures on what i now know to be super fragile areas because our weed control was too extensive and the seedlings washed away and made the erosion worse with the first heavy rain.we will continue to learn.

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:14 pm

THE WAR ON WILLOWS.....it continues.

This article from Dubbo's Daily Leader

Retiree takes on catchment authority in fight for trees by FAYE WHEELER
13 Jan, 2011 04:00 AM http://www.dailyliberal.com.au/news/loc ... torypage=0


A retiree is locked in a tussle with environmental groups about the removal of willow trees he values.
Narromine’s Bob Meadley criticised the removal of willow trees along the Macquarie River because he believed the willows would have protected the riverbank from the ravages of raging floodwaters.

Central West Catchment Management Authority (CWCMA) general manager Tim Ferraro rejected Mr Meadley’s claims, saying willow removal led to more fish, more native vegetation and a more stable river.

The CWCMA funded willow-removal projects at Dubbo, Narromine and across the catchment.

The council killed the introduced species and planted native trees along the riverbank.

Frequent river walker Mr Meadley lamented the damage to the area since the flood peak of 14 metres on December 7 and thought the project was carried out in the wrong order.

“All the little trees are gone (since the flood), all that’s left is an occasional little tree guard,” he said.

“You plant trees and get them up and then you take out the trees you don’t want.

“Don’t take out the trees first because you end up with nothing.”

His hypothesis is that there was more

turbulence in the river because the willows were dead and he calls it a “disappointing” result.

Mr Meadley blamed the CWCMA for the impact but Mr Ferraro said the authority worked in partnership with councils, landcare groups and others and did none of the ground work - Narromine Shire Council had chosen the project and the site.

But the CWCMA has as a condition of funding that recipients must implement willow-control projects in line with a “best practice guide”.

“It aims to minimise any short-term adverse environmental impacts and maximise long-term environmental benefits,” Mr Ferraro said.

“The willow-control project in Narromine was implemented in line with best practice requirements and the council should be commended for its excellent efforts.

“A small number of people maintain a view that willows should be retained.

“The reality is that the vast bulk of the scientific and practical evidence is that willows do more harm than good in Australian environments.

“Problems caused by willows include impacts on native fish and native vegetation, the modification of stream flow, increased water use and damage to infrastructure from willow debris in floods.”

And in floods “willows cause more turbulence, not less, because of their large root masses and invasive nature”.

New CSIRO research has backed Mr Ferraro’s position, showing that removing willow trees could return hundreds of megalitres of water to struggling river systems.

Narromine Shire Council has defended its actions in carrying out the removal in line with best management practice.

The council used two methods to kill the willows. One was to poison them but leave them in the ground to be used as habitat for birds and fish when they eventually fall into the water, council health and building manager Chris Brook said.

Additionally the root system was left to stabilise the river bank, he said.

The seedlings were long-stem types, meaning they were more advanced shrubs and had the best chance of survival - without floods, he said.

The CWCMA funded the willow removal program courtesy of the Federal Government. At the end of the article note the head of the CWCMA said although they funded the willow removal "The local council killed the introduced species and planted native trees along the riverbank."

Its called passing the buck or blame onto someone else to avoid any claims from the subsequent damage. These bureaucrats are PATHETIC !!

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:02 am

The WAR rages on!!
This article from the Canberra Times.

Storm debris still washing up in lakeBY BREANNA TUCKER
10 Jan, 2011 01:00 AM http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/lo ... 42784.aspx

More than a month after heavy storms lashed the capital, authorities are still pulling hundreds of tonnes of Willow debris from Lake Burley Griffin.

Broken limbs and whole trees continue to flow down the Molonglo River into the lake and the influx of floating timber is not expected to ease any time soon.


An impressive pile at Grevillea Park represents trees and limbs cleared so far from the eastern basin alone.

It's just one of many scattered around the lake, with a large amount of timber also collected on the southern shores.

Contractors, hired by the National Capital Authority, have been piling up the rubbish for weeks but will not dispose of any of the material until the clearance work is complete.

The authority says it will wait until all the debris has been captured before calling in industrial mulchers to process the wood.

No decision has been made on future uses for the wood.

Kambah cyclists Kevin and Pauline Teahan were astounded by the amount of wood as they rode by yesterday.

They'd noticed quite a lot of debris in the water near the Royal Canberra Golf Club and Canberra Yacht Club.

''It's pretty disgusting, really,'' Mrs Teahan said.

''It doesn't make a very nice view if you're dining at The Boat House.''

The buraucratic incompetence story CONTINUES......right at the doorstep of the failing bureaucracy.

There is a clear policy clash going on in Canberra between Departments.

On the one hand Government is being advised bt the DCC that it must save trees to help with global warming and climate change meanwhile the other lunatics down the road in the Dept of Environment are causing the mass genocide of millions of willows.....the very plants that play a major role in cooling climate.

It's another example of BUREAUCRATICS managing FAILURE.


The following article also appeared in the Canberra Times:
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/lo ... torypage=0

NCA faces long hard slog to clear log clog
BY MICHAEL INMAN
24 Dec, 2010 01:00 AM


The clean-up of Lake Burley Griffin after this month's floods is expected to cost ***hundreds of thousands of dollars and take up to six months.Drenching rains across the catchment washed logs downstream, filling Lake Burley Griffin with debris and damaging some of the waterway's infrastructure, such as jetties and buoys.***of our taxpayers $$$
Hundreds of uprooted trees currently litter the lake, posing a risk to recreational water activity over summer.

The massive clean-up began in earnest this week, with four boats yesterday roping logs and towing them to Grevillea Park one of seven nominated stockpile sites around lake.

National Capital Authority chief executive Gary Rake said the collected timber would then be trucked away for mulching.

Mr Rake said a barge may need to be brought in from interstate to help collect larger debris.

''We've got an active program getting under way to pull debris out of the lake, which we expect will take many weeks, but it could spill out to three to six months to clear harder-to-access timbers and areas,'' MrRake said.

''In the last couple of days we've been trialling some of the faster and easier removal methods.

''Where we can, we're essentially towing them ... [but] it is possible we will need to bring in a barge with a small crane at some stage to remove timber. But we're not yet at the point whether we're certain if that's needed.''

Mr Rake said central and eastern basin had been given priority treatment in the removal process, to ensure the success of key sporting events.

''In particular, the sailors have some national championships coming up over the next month,'' Mr Rake said. ''There's also a national triathlon championship on January9, so again we're trying to get sunken timbers out of where they'll be swimming in central basin.

''We hope that by [today] we'll have pulled most of the obvious and easy-to-find sunken timbers out of central basin.''

Not all the debris would be removed.

Mr Rake said the NCA was considering a proposal by local fishing groups to leave the natural structures as a habitat for native fish.

PLEASE NOTE: The Willows TASK Force give this as a reason for willow removal. The bureaucrats here are saying they provide habitat.....you can't have it BOTH ways.''We want to make sure it's an area that is safe for other users, accessible for fisherman and will benefit native fish ... We're not experts in fish habitat, so we'll need to take advice on that.''

The debris has also forced the closure of the Molonglo Reach water ski area. The ACT Government is currently in the process of engaging contractors to remove the hazards.

But in good news, the NCA yesterday advised that Lake Burley Griffin was open to recreational activities.

Parts of the lake were closed after the flooding as a result of high bacteria counts, but had now returned to safe levels in most areas.

YET another example of the lunatic, bumbling Bureaucrats running the asylum.
I wonder if they might take the time to wonder out of their air conitioned offices up the road to survey the carnage that their policy has created and cost the taxpayer???
Last edited by duane on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:19 am

ANY BUREAUCRATS OUT THERE WORKING IN THE POLICY DIVISION OF DEHWA ARE WELCOME TO RESPOND HERE TO THE CRITICISMS LEVELLED.

ghosta
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby ghosta » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:59 am

Duanne, Im not sure what point you are trying to make. There are logs in the lake due to recent exceptional rains. Why are you sayig they should leave them there? And why is the removal of logs "YET another example of the lunatic, bumbling Bureaucrats running the asylum"...there are public safety concerns here, and this program makes a lot of sense.

duane
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby duane » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:51 am

Let me make this perfectly clear ghosta: "I don't suffer fools".

Every effort has been made to point out the bleeding obvious to you but there is no answer to ignorance.

Comprende??

ghosta
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby ghosta » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:01 pm

Duanne, all you have done is abuse the authorities for taking action. You have not explained what they are doing wrong,, nor have you offered an alternative. Surely you can dream SOMETHING up!

Ian James
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Re: The War on Willows

Postby Ian James » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:27 pm

Ghosta, we all know that Duane is refering to the policy of removing the willows, it's obvious disasterous consequences, it's incompetent implementation and the poor logic and lamentable processes that resulted in its conception.

If you dont want criticism then possibly you should avoid foolish behavior.

Otherwise stand and be judged.


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