Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rare Orchids Slashed by SCA

The Sydney Catchment Authority slashed approximately 12 Km of roadside verge along Tourist Road, Kangaloon, yesterday. As regular readers will know, there is a well known population of rare Orchids along Tourist Road, Kangaloon. These plants have been monitored for many years by the Orchid experts of the Illawarra region for many years. I have been monitoring this area for the last 5 years.
The Sydney Catchment Authority, which is charged with managing the area (adjacent to the Kangaloon Aquifer), is well aware that there are rare Orchids and other Endangered Species present here. I have told them, in person, and via this blog, (last year), and at a public meeting, attended by the Project Manager (Mr John Ross), and the then Chief Executive (Mr Graeme Head).

The SCA have followed up this advice and have even commissioned biologists to survey the area. Unfortunately, the biologists were to late, and did not find the Orchids, and too blind to find the endangered Persoonias growing along this slashed area (Why not ask for assistance from the very people who told them what was there in the first place?) Would that really be too humiliating for the "expert" consultants (SMEC), and the SCA? So, they both made fools of themselves, when they proclaimed there were no endangered plants there.
Surely it is better science to ask for assistance, than to publish wrong information.
The SCA might argue that this slashing was necessary for fire prevention. However, in previous years they have done this slashing in late winter. This year, they have done it in the height of Orchid-flowering season. This is a calamity.
With many fine Orchids in full flower this year. All those plants will have had their flower heads, or seed capsules destroyed. That means none of these plants can set seed for future years. None on them.
The plants tubers will survive, but with the loss of leaves, the plants will have been weakened (they need their leaves for photosynthesis, to build the tubers up, for flowering next year). If they are slashed again next year, at this time, the plants are likely to die out. This is disastrous for the Orchids.
It is a "Bastard Act" in my opinion. Given that the SCA knows all about these plants, it is an act of wanton vandalism on their part.


Gaye from the Hunter said...

Nature suffers at the hand of incompenence, again (paid by rate-payers' or taxpayers' hard-earned money, to make matters worse).

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gaye
Thanks for your comments.
Most of the comments I have received, via email, are not publishable (not polite enough). They strongly agree with your sentiments, though.