What a shame ... so unnecessary!Posted by Arthur Clarke on 10/07/18 at 10:21 AM
Have to disagree with Mooney’s summary of the old creek line.
The undercut banks appear to be actively eroding and are not natural, given that the original forest has been cleared adjacent for grass. Refer to leaning trees into creek as evidence of active bank movement. There would be a pronounced absence of stabilisation despite recent plantings above and adjacent to undercut bank. Shallow rooted wattles provide very little bank reinforcement.
Council (?) would have been better advised to implement some proper rock armouring to stabilise existing eroding banks at critical points.
Dropping established trees in the immediate area is also counter productive.
Digging a bypass channel will create new problems.
How is water flow diverted from old creekbed into new channel ?Posted by Mjf on 10/07/18 at 12:58 PM
Regardless of the intention, it’s pretty brutal work. Heather Chauncy might shed some light on it; she used to be on the management committee; not sure if she is now.Posted by Ann Wessing on 10/07/18 at 02:12 PM
Councils should make contact the Forest Practices Authority for a consultation with their Specialists in Hydrology/ Geomorphology to obtain professional advice on how to correctly manage a Nature Reserve “under their control.” Ugh!
I am not sure if NRM South would be of much help in this regard as there are issues here of mechanical interference with a natural water course, probably a Class 4 stream that requires at least a 10 metre buffer zone.
The initial work required a proper written plan with on-site instruction for the excavator operator, so now is the time for a Rehabilitaion plan!
Oh dear, what a mess .. muddied water downstream during the remainder of winter. Is it someone’s pick up point downstream? Did anyone bother to check, or is it a winter creek?
Some chainsaw-happy lunatic with nothing else to do, cutting down trees unnecessarily!
That’s not the way to treat a Nature Reserve.Posted by Robin Charles Halton on 10/07/18 at 02:19 PM
RCH ... a small test for you:
The catchment of Browns Caves Creek above the disturbance is easily > 500 ha
What classification of stream is that, and what size buffer would normally be required at the hut ?Posted by Mjf on 10/07/18 at 04:24 PM
This all looks a mess. Would be interested in following this up with Council, Parks & Wildlife & TLC.Posted by Rowena McDougall on 10/07/18 at 05:25 PM
I read this article with considerable horror this morning and was immediately in contact with pretty well everyone who I thought might be able to shed some light on the matter. Apparently the work has the blessing of the management committee and is being carried out to avoid the erosion that was causing the footings of ‘the cottage’ (presumably the interpretation shed) to become unstable. Heritage Tasmania is unaware of the works so one must hope they lie outside the boundary covered by the citation.
As the article suggests, serious questions need to be asked of SMC as to the process that has led to this work (apparently being supervised by a ‘qualified hydrologist’ as it bears little resemblance to any creek remediation I have ever seen.
In addition it seems to fit with the pattern of all too many projects carried out by Council - that is, in doing one job, three more are created, and the original job is not done to standard. Given their frequent complaints of insufficient budget to do what is necessary one might reasonably expect a more prudent approach to any work that they can support.Posted by Jo Bain on 10/07/18 at 05:40 PM
#5 MJF ... Yeah, I now see what you mean as I am not familiar with the area, although I do remember fiddling around with an old girl friend at the caves site back in the 60’s .. that’s all! Neither of us were impressed with what was on show - pretty dull and boring dry forest area.
I managed to get hold of a copy of Green Ponds 1:25,000 map. 2015 edition. It clearly shows Browns Caves Creek over a distance of ~ 6 km drops in altitude from ~ 500 m down to 200 m where the shack is situated. Given the area of the watershed above being over 500 ha we are talking about a major stream as a Class 1 stream which should have a minimum of a 40 meter reserve either side from its outer banks.
This is now a serious issue and needs to be followed up by the sort of experts that I mentioned earlier, but on top of that there needs to be put in place a remediation plan to revert to the status quo before the creek diversion as I think that there will be incredible problems with ongoing erosion all the way along the extent of the new trench and road as it, too, attempts to replicate the original watercourse back to the loose boulder and cobble base of the original stream.
I will visit the site soon. It has drummed up concerns about our dwindling natural environment being destroyed without reason.Posted by Robin Charles Halton on 10/07/18 at 10:31 PM
The Green Ponds map Sheet, a newer series of maps, scale is 1:50,000, not 1:25,000 as I stated earlier, has crammed in much up to date detail that I often use a magnification glass.
Another point .. the Chaunchy vale area lies within a low rainfall zone. It suffers almost seasonally from droughts, when either flash flooding or significant rain does occur as we had some weeks ago. Erosion will cause sedimentation downstream as the man-made trench tries to correct its position to that of the natural stream.
Neighbours downstream should note events and contact council each time muddied waters and increased sedimentation is occurring on their properties downstream from the modified watercourse on the Chauncy vale reserve.Posted by Robin Charles Halton on 11/07/18 at 08:41 AM
What does the member for Prosser, Jane Howlett have to say about this atrocity happening in her electorate?Posted by elk on 11/07/18 at 10:03 AM
“What does the member for Prosser, Jane Howlett have to say about this atrocity happening in her electorate?”
Does she speak ?Posted by Chris on 11/07/18 at 11:13 AM
What a disgraceful piece of ‘work’!
Who did it?Posted by Russell on 11/07/18 at 12:03 PM
Re #8 ... “It has drummed up concerns about our dwindling natural environment being destroyed without reason.”
And in other articles you advocated logging in the Tarkine, etc.Posted by Russell on 11/07/18 at 12:12 PM
I have no doubt that a field inspection will reveal more.
Soon, very soon on a fine day, my wife and I will venture out from Sunny North Hobart to the frost-ridden hole behind Baghdad. She should be fine with her camera looking for native birds and fungi.
I will covering the bush upstream and keying in the machinery disturbance, and the more likely post devastation phase that the foolhardy Council has created.
One thing that I have learnt with forestry is to keep the machinery ‘footprint’ to a minimum on native forest coupes, as it is virtually impossible to restore what nature has created over millions of years.Posted by Robin Charles Halton on 11/07/18 at 12:46 PM
The creek crossing has changed considerably.
In 1947 I was one of the boys who built the Hutchins hut which taken by fire in 1967. We used to travel on the back of two Ford V8 lorries, and the crossing then was wide with a strong flow of water. The lorries used to rush it and on one occasion one got stuck. As I remember the dip was broad and shallow then, and not with the present higher banks. The flatter area further on and opposite the hut site was not chain sawed (at least in recent memory) but was quite flat and grassy. The lorries used to park there while we hauled building materials across the creek to build the hut. (In passing, I’ll mention that this was the best learning experience Hutchins afforded me. It is sad that the conditions we experienced and profited enormously by are not longer possible: must be by bus, accompanied by duly authorised adults, and insurance would rule the whole thing out anyway).
The 1967 fires changed the whole ecosystem: less clear spaces, that grassy flat thickly populated by small wattles and more scrub, but on the upside much much more animal life, particularly poteroos. The creek then got silted up and I guess that was when the crossing became seriously diminished. It is always changing.
That said, the Council has done a mug’s job of clearing the way here. I was on the Management Committee years ago, but if the current committee gave the go ahead I think they would have expected better than this crude mess.Posted by John Biggs on 11/07/18 at 03:59 PM
#14 ... “One thing that I have learnt with forestry is to keep the machinery ‘footprint’ to a minimum on native forest coupes, as it is virtually impossible to restore what nature has created over millions of years.”
OMG - what planet are you living on?
Since when has there ever been a touchy-feely sensitive footprint with forestry? The above images, or even worse, can be found on essentially every logging coupe in the state!
Native forest, regardless of its biota representation, has taken millions of years to create, so what’s the distinct difference in your profound ecological assessment?
To prove you are biased, you claim in #8 that “our dwindling natural environment is being destroyed without reason.”
Then what the hell is clear-fell and burn ... trashing Class 3 and Class 4 creeks; carving deep embankments to gain access; hardening of roads; and replanting in monoculture .. just to mention a few of your delusional beliefs?Posted by Ted Mead on 11/07/18 at 07:01 PM
#4, #8, #14 ... Robin, I do seriously need your assistance.
Please, I am not being rude but I am totally confused over your stance about all things environment and forestry .. about which you appear to have knowledge and strong opinions.
In this article you appear to be slamming the Council, or whoever has done this damage, and I certainly agree. But then in the next breath you appear to defend any forest practices actions which includes heavy machinery impacts.
Am I missing something in your logic?
Are you truly keen on protecting our environment from wanton human destruction, so much so that you and your wife, Thermos, camera and 1:25,000 maps in hand, along with your trusted Kombivan, choose to venture into the wilds and then report back?
Or is this just a cover story to divert us from your other view that FT and STT can do no harm?
And I don’t dare again raise your passion for piles of woodchip.Posted by Geoffrey Swan on 11/07/18 at 11:20 PM
#14, #15 ... Geoffrey, the basics of the FPC comprising the protection of soils and water, can be applied to many situations other than forestry, eg within natural areas on farming properties, during housing development, during fire fighting mop ups and of course, on Reserves, but these are no better than having persons who have been extensively trained, practiced and well versed with environmental protection.
Improvements can only continue, even during my retirement, as I maintain a special interest in the natural world and its balance with development.
There’s no cover up here, and there is no stopping me from continuing to make positive contributions for the environment, either!
Forest practices experience has a huge advantage over those who don’t have it!Posted by Robin Charles Halton on 12/07/18 at 05:13 AM
#18 ... Once again we see that Robin represents what’s wrong with conservative thinking in this world.
The hypocrisy is overwhelming when one claims that “our dwindling natural environment is being destroyed without reason.”
How can anyone who is a die-hard advocate for nature destruction through Forestry, Burning and pro-development liberal ideology claim there is something happening to our environment for no reason? This is contempt for your own sanity!
You try to justify your lack of ecological understanding by saying “Forest practices experience has a huge advantage over those who don’t have it!”
Furthermore you quote -
A - “There’s no cover up here, and there is no stopping me from continuing to make positive contributions for the environment, either! “
When have you ever made a positive contribution to environmental protection?
B - “Improvements can only continue, even during my retirement, as I maintain a special interest in the natural world and its balance with development.”
That’s more conservative nonsense. Balance? What balance? Everywhere all across the planet the environment is being heavily compromised under the guise of misguided balance!
C - “persons who have been extensively trained, practiced and well versed with environmental protection”.
Who are these people? Not STT butchers, Not PWS sell-out merchants, Not Tasfire pyromaniacs, Not the EPA government stooges, and as this article indicates .. Not the local council regulators!
The only hope for change is action through our children, not the silly old coots of this current generation who are clueless, out of touch, and estranged from a connection to the natural world upon which we are totally dependent!Posted by Ted Mead on 12/07/18 at 09:32 AM
#19 ... Ted My assessment of the situation at Chauncy Vale is being compared to a land clearing exercise using the FPC as a base for soils and water protection.
As a well versed and experienced forestry land manager it is obvious I have provided a fair and reasonable positive contribution for environmental protection.
This gives Nick Mooney more enlightenment as to where to take this issue now, as a trail of environmental damage is likely to follow as the trench finds its own repose.
It is also possible over forthcoming decades, during periods of flash flooding after period of drought, that the original watercourse may return, as nature takes its course over time.
We are not talking about an extended long term geological natural river capture event over thousands of years, are we?Posted by Robin Charles Halton on 12/07/18 at 08:11 PM
The threatened wildlife poisoned by the fox farce has no voice for their contempt of precautionary principles.
I hope all the quolls and devils and other threatened native species poisoned by 1080 and forestry practices mourn the temporary loss of this habitat.
It’s disgraceful, really.Posted by spikey on 15/07/18 at 11:02 PM
#14 ... I’m looking forward to perusing your follow-up report, Halton.
Can you add some extra images as well, please.Posted by MjF on 22/07/18 at 10:54 AM