Queensland's Citizen Science Hub

Source: ABC Triple J Hack Program, THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2019 3:47PM

Author: James Purtill

“Going local: Involving landholders more in bushfire strategy: All the experts agree the current shouting match over bushfire mitigation strategies is far too simplistic and unhelpfully lumps together many different types of fire ecology. What works in a savannah grassland won’t necessarily work in a temperate forest. Finding what works in each particular landscape is partly about hearing from landholders and involving them more in bushfire strategy. One community engagement program that’s being copied is that of the South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium, which is embedded within a natural resource management not-for-profit called Healthy Land and Water. For the last 20 years, the consortium has been promoting research into the local fire ecology and also educating landholders on bushfire strategy. According to its acting manager Craig Welden, it’s all about “shared learning”. “We provide some baseline information but we also draw on the landholder’s experiences as well. Where appropriate if a traditional owner is in the area we’ll involve them.” Craig said a recent workshop in a rural fire service station was an example of the process working — landholders met the rural fire service captain, discussed the local fire prevention strategies, and ending up requesting a controlled burn. “They did a prescribed burn the following year,” Craig said. “That’s an example of where we’ve collectively worked together — they worked with the local rural fire brigade to carry out the burn.” If more prescribed burning is going to take place, involving landholders like this will help get them onside. Ultimately, we could see a nationwide system of local consortiums, dedicated to deepening their knowledge of place, particularly the fire ecology. Similar programs in other states – including Hotspots in NSW – have recently started up. Together they form the Interstate Fire Alliance. “We get together on a regular basis to talk about what our successes are, what our failings are, and what we can improve on,” Craig said.”

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/climate-change-is-making-bushfires-worse-heres-what-we-can-do/11704858

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