The impact of planting for restoration of remnant bushland on its scientific and educational values

Implications for conservation planning

Lynne McLoughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large amounts of time and money are currently being expended in "restoring" damaged bushland in many parts of Australia, particularly those remnants in or near large centres of population such as Sydney. This paper argues that it is time to critically examine policies and practices of bushland conservation for the range of bushland values they are serving. Since the introduction of minimum intervention "bush regeneration" in Sydney in the 1960s "restoration" has developed to encompass a much broader range of disturbed areas from lightly weed invaded bush to totally cleared sites, and there has been a blurring of distinctions between regeneration and other restoration practices. In particular, both restoration and regeneration now include planting as widely accepted practice. Focusing on New South Wales, particularly the Sydney region, this paper reviews the role of values in current conservation planning and bushland management in New South Wales, the development of "regeneration", and "restoration" and the nature of scientific and educational values of remnant bushland, and examines how the practice of planting in bushland is degrading those values. Alternative methods to achieve natural regeneration, particularly the use of fire, are discussed. The paper concludes with an emphasis on the importance of developing a planning process for bushland conservation and management which establishes significance based on its specific values, and adopts integrated objectives and strategies, policies and practices, to protect that significance and ensure that restoration does not degrade the values for which the bushland is being preserved and restored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalPacific Conservation Biology
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Bush regeneration
  • Bushland management
  • Ecological restoration
  • Environmental education
  • Fire regimes
  • Planting in bushland
  • Scientific research
  • Values of bushland

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