Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Roadside Vegetation

Perhaps nothing tears me in two directions more than the debate about clearing roadside vegetation for fire control.

Of course some people want it cleared to reduce the fire hazard it may pose. On the other side, people want it retained as part of a natural system and perhaps a wildlife corridor. What is a bit of dead wood lying on the ground, could be an important part of a whole ecosystem.

So, we have the natural environment pitted against possibly people's lives, although clearing road side vegetation may not help at all in some specific cases.

I think I can only judge it from and angle I use if I am unsure about a similar matter. If we don't get the environment right, nothing else will be right.

How about a compromise? Some slow and cool burning of roadside vegetation to reduce fuel loads, but in very select areas where it can be shown to benefit.


  1. Hmmmm, controversial. It's the kind of thing that needs to be done on a case by case basis. Coming of a very tidy farm we were raised with clean, clipped nature strips, until such time as the council forbid (or should that be forbade?) it.

    Fallen trees and long grass may create a natural habitat for wildlife, however that also puts the wildlife dangerously close to the road, plus some branches can be hazardous when situated too close to narrow roads. I've seen enough tyres shredded and sill panels torn out to know it can happen, especially when forced off the road by oncoming traffic.

    I know the environmentally aware would probably like to see me lynched, but I think in this instance maybe safety (for travellers and fire safety) should come first.

  2. Yes controlled burning for safety of travellers and residents of certain areas. Many accidents I see are car/bike or truck meets with tree... a whole other ball game there too. When we travelled up past Lakes Entrance they were erecting many kilometres of that razor wire to prevent people running into trees there...but, we all know the end result of hitting razor wire at a high speed don't we?

    You know, as a kid we did controlled slow burns in our country area. We nurtured nature and it nurtured us with its regrowth the next year. The furry animals and scaley ones were looked after and angels sung from up la la... it worked then, it could work now.

  3. Ah...I see. When you said 'Roadside Vegetation' I thought you were talking about traffic wardens.

  4. Like M and Cazzie have said above - each area is different, slow burns and a basic tidy vegetation corridore worked well in the past, and what is there now is more a choking mess full of introduced weeds not native flora.
    I'll drop you a (cynical) hint as to what is behind the roadside mess these days - some years back it was found that the Vic Govt were, in law, responsible for controlling roadside noxious weeds, not the farmers they'd been happily fining for years.

  5. Mutant, I have a lot of sympathy for your view.

    Just remembering Cazzie, my father used to burn off too.

    Oh god, he is back with his usual pointed and relevant comments. And I thought the care of artifacts or is that artefacts was a scheduled post.

    A whole other angle Jayne, introduced grass and weeds and other growth. Pretty well a case by case basis I think. Interesting info about the fines.

  6. When I first saw this post, I thought it said "Roadside Vegetarian". I got all excited.

  7. Dina, the mind boggles at what a post might be about a roadside vegetarian.