Developing and Implementing Policy for Fire Management of Invasive Native Scrub in New South Wales

Developing and Implementing Policy for Fire Management of Invasive Native Scrub in New South Wales Conference Paper

17th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): P. Droulers, K. Kneipp
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Invasive native scrub (INS) has caused major changes to landscapes in Western NSW with adverse effects on pastoral production and aspects of biodiversity. The reduction in the incidence of fires since European settlement has contributed to these changes. The priority for managing INS is to maintain open areas and reduce further increase of invasive native species density. Effective management of INS will result in a mosaic of native vegetation types in the landscape creating a diversity of habitats. The control of INS has benefits for production and the environment with improved native groundcover and soil stability. The management of total grazing pressure (TGP) before and after burning is crucial to achieving improved environmental and production outcomes. The most cost effective way to manage INS is the control of seedling germination events with fire. Mass seedling germinations occur following prolonged high rainfall events and there is a limited window of opportunity to manage the seedlings. Seedlings of many invasive native species are susceptible to fire with almost one hundred percent kill rate when they are less than thirty centimetres in height. The kill rate with fire dramatically decreases with plants above thirty centimetres and negligible above fifty centimetres height. Although fire has limitations in managing INS it is considered to be the only realistic tool to manage seedlings at a landscape scale. Effective policy is required to ensure that appropriate fire regimes are encouraged and that balanced environmental outcomes are achieved. This paper discusses how these policies are implemented in NSW and the optimal fire management to maintain mosaic landscapes with the control of INS.

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Suggested Citation
P. Droulers, K. Kneipp, 2012, Developing and Implementing Policy for Fire Management of Invasive Native Scrub in New South Wales, Conference Paper, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3672.

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