Monday, December 11, 2006

The Blue Gum Forest

In this morning's SMH is this sad picture showing the present condition of the Blue Gum Forest, one of the most beautiful areas in the Grose Valley and a significant site in the formation of the Blue Mountains National Park.
"MORE than 70 years ago this forest inspired the birth of the modern Australian conservation movement"

The ecosystem of this whole area is so amazing - its interdependence on the cycle of burning and regrowth and the critical balance of the fire's intensity and frequency.As can be seen by the 'before' shot there isn't much left of the groves of ferns and grasses that make this place so distinctive but it has been burned before and hopefully it will recover.

Hindsight can be scary sometimes - it is a bit worrying to also read:
"Evidence emerged that escaped backburns and spot fires meant the fires linked up and were made more dangerous to property and heritage assets - including the Blue Gum Forest. One manager said the townships of Hazelbrook, Woodford and Linden were a "bee's dick" away from being burnt. Another described it as "our scariest moment".

To those who may be unaware of this term "bee's dick" it means it was very, very, close.

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