When Weeds Keep Winning Just Keep Swimming By Erin Lake (Cream of the Crop entrant)


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University of Wollongong student Erin will inspire you to keep up the war on weeds.

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When Weeds Keep Winning Just Keep Swimming By Erin Lake (Cream of the Crop entrant)

  1. 1. “When Weeds Keep Winning …….Just Keep Swimming!!“ http://aashton2215.wordpress.com/2008/01
  2. 2. A presentation by Erin Lake of the University of Wollongong NSW Titled: Restoration on Private Land: Management Practices and Motivations of Landowners. A Case Study of Jamberoo Valley, NSW.
  3. 3. Hi! I’m Erin and I love working to remove nasty weeds like Lantana from our natural areas
  4. 4. This year I did an honours project with the University of Wollongong to finish my science degree. It took all year and at the end I handed in a Thesis which discussed a number of questions about managing natural resources like biodiversity and remnant vegetation on farms and private land.
  5. 5. How did I investigate these questions? 1. Reading, reading and more reading...... 2. Interviews with landholders 3. Ecological assessment of the health of the forest 4. Mapping where weeds are located on properties
  6. 6. What did I want to find out? My thesis looked at how landholders are managing their natural resources and what some of the challenges are for achieving sustainable natural resource management
  7. 7. What did I find? There are now many people who are purchasing land with a range of environmental assets such as rainforest, creeks and rivers (also called riparian zones) and important farm land. Rainforest is abundant on private land
  8. 8. Some of these people have never owned or managed land before which raised a series of questions on how they are able to cope with the management of environmental issues and whether their actions are effective on a local and a landscape scale
  9. 9. So I investigated: 1. What landholders were doing to manage their natural resources 2. Why they chose to manage their land in that way, and 3. What were the outcomes for environmental, social and economic goals
  10. 10. Where was the research located? • Jamberoo Valley, NSW • A dairy farm with residential subdivision • An area of high amenity • An area with high environmental values and lots of remnant rainforest
  11. 11. What is happening? • There are a number of environmental issues to address when you own land. • Effective management of many of these issues usually requires a lot of time, money, skills and assistance • One particular issue is the problems of weeds that present a number of environmental, social and economic problems for landholders
  12. 12. What are weeds? • A weed is a plant that is unwanted and are also known as ‘invasive plants’. With weeds... Without weeds...
  13. 13. • Weeds can have numerous effects on agriculture For example, fireweed which grows in pastures and can be poisonous to livestock Image source: http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au
  14. 14. • Weeds can have numerous effects on native plants For example, moth vine grows vigorously and smothers native trees in the canopy Image source: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
  15. 15. • Weeds can have numerous effects on ecosystems For example, Lantana which takes advantage of canopy gaps and prevents the growth of native plants. Top Image source: http://www.anbg.gov.au
  16. 16. Weeds can have numerous social effects Weeds are often difficult to remove and require a lot of time to effectively eradicate them. They are often too difficult for many landholders to address and so they are able to spread even further. The presence and spread of weeds is a source of frustration for many landholders.
  17. 17. Weeds can have numerous economic effects They are often very costly to remove, and this is a major barrier to effective removal and management of this serious national issue. Funding opportunities exist for landholders and are provided by a number of government and corporate agencies. But these opportunities are limited and are often difficult to secure.
  18. 18. What are some of the things people are doing about weeds on their properties? 1. Nothing – it is often that people are overwhelmed or don’t know how to start to address certain weed issues 2. Restoration work- a range of activities are being carried out which help to reverse or slow the damage done by weeds
  19. 19. • The aim of restoration is usually to return an ecosystem back to a healthy state so that there are no invasive species, and that natural evolution can take its course.
  20. 20. What is involved in restoration? • It often relies on the removal of unwanted plant species (weeds) and the planting or nurturing of desirable native plant species • Bank stabilisation and water quality improvement are other important aspects of restoration
  21. 21. By removing the invasive weeds, the forest is able to...
  22. 22. More effectively support a wide variety of flora and fauna
  23. 23. So how are landholders able to reach their restoration goals? • It is important that landholders set themselves ACHIEVABLE targets- so they are not overwhelmed by the task at hand and that they are encouraged to keep on working at them • Some weed infestations may then be left alone and people will have to learn to live with them.
  24. 24. However, weeds can also provide some ecosystem services •For example, Lantana can provide habitat for little birds like the Superb Fairy Wren •Weeds can also help to sequester carbon from the atmosphere- helping to lower the effects of climate change Image source: http://photogallery.canberrabirds.org.au/fairy-wren.htm
  25. 25. What is the best thing landholders can do to help restore degraded or partially affected ecosystems? • Do only what they are able to- do not get overwhelmed- ecosystems can have some weeds! • Work together with neighbours and friends – make restoration work fun! It can be very rewarding! • Kids especially love to plant trees- get schools involved! • Keep an eye out for funding opportunities to help with the major work • But most importantly...
  26. 26. Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Image Source: http://aashton2215.wordpress.com/2008/01/ A little bit of work at frequent intervals can really make a difference!
  27. 27. Thanks for listening!
  29. 29. This is an Erin Lake production for The 2009 Cream of the Crop!