What’s wrong with Bill Gammage’s book?

The following story is taken from Green Left Weekly, January 2015. By Ben Courtice & Emma Murphy Ngadju Conservation Coordinator Les Schultz near a traditional burn. Photo: Ngadju Conservation A popular argument suggests Aboriginal people always burned country so non-Aboriginal Australians should too, albeit for modern purposes, such as fuel reduction burns. Historian Bill Gammage…

Planned burns are destroying habitat of endangered cockatoos

This is becoming a common story across Victoria. With the political ‘need’ to do fuel reduction burns and meet the 5% of the state target, individual burns are increasingly inappropriate in terms of area being burnt or timing of the burn. The Bushfires Royal Commission recommended a statewide fuel reduction burn target of 5% of…

Aboriginal burning: how much, how often?

An interesting piece lifted directly from the website of the Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests (Mt Alexander Region). A CSIRO fire management report on Aboriginal burning in the Great Western Woodlands of south western WA has revealed some interesting facts about traditional approaches to fire in the woodlands. The report was written to document the Ngadju…

More fires – less snow gums

Snow gums are the quintessential alpine tree on mainland Australia, generally growing at heights between 1,300 and 1,800 metres asl. Forests and woodlands of Eucalyptus pauciflora can look quite uniform from a distance, but up close they have such character. But wildfire has been devastating large swathes of snow gum habitat, with significant fires in the…

Fire & the Story of Burning Country

Fire and the Story of Burning Country by Peter McConchie. Pete says: “In many countries around the world fire poses an enormous threat to people, property and environment. We react to fire without fully understanding and embracing its true potential as a tool for cleansing and rejuvenating the land. Fire and the Story of Burning…

Indigenous fire farming and vegetation

The following story from the ABC by Stephen Pincock looks at Indigenous ‘fire farming’, and draws the conclusion that “the idea of ecological collapse resulting from people arriving and burning Australia to a crisp isn’t supported by (the) data.” Genes extinguish Aboriginal fire theory Wednesday, 30 October 2013 A study of Australia’s native cypress trees…