Recreating the Country blog
Saving our grasslands and grassy woodlands.
If you care, you're in the minority
Over the last six months I have looked at how our Australian culture> is limiting our ability to prevent the loss of grasslands & grassy woodlands. I have also suggested some practical solutions such as indigenous burning practice> and strategic grazing>.
If you are reading this blog, chances are you have an interest in protecting grasslands. You probably wouldn’t be surprised if I suggest that you and I are in the minority.
If I was to put on my ultraconservative hat, I might say to you;
“why are we spending buckets of money on saving grasslands”?
After all I might add, “money spent on protecting or restoring native flora would have a far greater benefit to the broader community if it was invested in medical research, defence or training more school teachers”.
I might conclude that “restoring a kangaroo grassland on a country roadside or a 10 ha bit of scrub on private land benefits very very few Australians”.
Why don't most rational people care?
For those of us who are passionate about native flora, these views are confronting and extremely frustrating, but sadly not uncommon.
Conservationists scratch their heads with dismay as we wonder why every Australian doesn’t see native flora and fauna as precious. Why don’t most rational people care deeply about the steady slide into extinction of many of our unique plant and animal species?
John Delpratt points out the many values of roadside kangaroo grassland reserves in the second of his excellent articles>. Their low fire risk, improved visibility for drivers and their extraordinary beauty. He also mentions the powerful sense of place they provide. But are these tangible reasons that would motivate a nation to protect them?
Conservationists are acutely aware of the significant environmental services that natural areas provide. The wealth and health of our whole civilisation is underpinned by natural processes and ecological networks, but to the uninformed these are invisible as is the ongoing loss and destruction
Stephen Murphy is an author, an ecologist and a nurseryman. He has been a designer of natural landscapes for over 30 years. He loves the bush, supports Landcare and is a volunteer helping to conserve local reserves.