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United Approach to Pine Wildlings Problem

Tuesday 19 March, 2013

The expansion of the ‘Glenelg Alliance’ taskforce has added new strength to the fight to control pine wildlings across Victoria’s south west. HVP Plantations and Green Triangle Forest Products recently met for the first time with Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria and Conservation Volunteers Australia to discuss the issue. The plantation groups were keen to be involved and have pledged resources to help control pine wildlings along their boundaries and on adjoining public land. This will complement the work of Parks Victoria, DSE and CVA volunteers.

Pine tree seeds can be transported by wind for up to 3km, so for a long time it wasn’t realised that pines were being widely spread throughout parks and reserves in the region. Pine wildlings have been removed from public land since the 1960s, but few official records were kept at that time. However for the past seven years data has been collected by GPS, and shows that 66,026 trees have been removed from 8,569ha over that time.  

The recent fires in the National Park have also helped, as Parks Victoria’s Dave Ryan explains.  

“Keegan’s Bend in Lower Glenelg National Park was severely burnt, so the pine trees stood out and were easy to get to. It took us just three days to cut down 514 trees over nearly 50ha - one small pocket had about 250 pines up to 30 years old.  We’re really pleased that we’ve removed around 90 percent of pine wildlings along 60km of the Glenelg River north of Nelson, thanks to lots of hard work.”

Adrian Lynch from HVP Plantations says his company is pleased to be partner in this local project.

“The Glenelg Alliance and this program are great examples of stakeholders working together to improve the local environment and we look forward to an ongoing relationship.  It’s also in line with the  ‘Good Neighbour Charter for Commercial Tree Growing in the Green Triangle Region’ which we use as a guide to positive communications, and helping  us work with partners to address local issues of mutual concern”.

Dave Ryan agrees. “This partnership between government agencies and industry is really good news for the treatment of pine wildlings. The parks in the South West will never be rid of them, but this greater collaborative effort means there’s a greater chance of removing all seeding trees and reducing the problem to maintenance level.”

Glenelg Hopkins CMA’s project officer Tim Covey says it’s another step forward for the Glenelg Alliance which began in 2009. Its focus is high priority pest plants and animals on 34,603ha of public and private land in the lower Glenelg River region.

The program is funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program and based on partnerships between key government agencies and private industry wherever possible.

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