The case for prescribed burning to control shrubs in eastern semi-arid woodlands.
KC Hodgkinson and GN Harrington
The Australian Rangeland Journal
7(2) 64 - 74
of the paper highlights his willingness to contribute his experience freely to the discussion of issues confronting rangeland managers: "In this paper I hope to lead you through the financial history of Willangee Station. Through decisions we made, the mistakes we have made, the lessions we have learnt, the debts we have taken on and the profits we have made. Our aim is to expose all of these factsso people may learn from them'. The paper, along with others presented at the Seminar, was published in the Australian Rangeland Journal. In 1980 Bill hosted a tour of Willangee by the Barrier Environment Group during a Conference on the theme'% the West Darling becoming a Desert?" By his actions, conservationists and graziers were brought together duringa period when conservation of Australia's arid lands was becoming a major issue. Through his leadership of the Broken Hill Branch of the Australian Rangeland Society, Bill has contributed greatly to the exchange of ideas between academics, the pastoralist community and conservationists. With such a wealth of knowledge of the district and its people Bill has been aguiding influence to the Broken Hill Branch, the Committee and its members. Aust. Rangel. J. 7(2) 1985, 64- 74 THE CASE FOR PRESCRIBED BURNING TO CONTROL SHRUBS IN EASTERN SEMI-ARID WOODLANDS K.C. Hodgkinson and G.N. Harrington CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research, Private Bag, P.O., Deniliquin, N.S. W. 2710 Abstract A theor) for shrub control by prescnbed burn~ng In semi-and woodlands of eastern Australla IS outlmed. Th~s theory IS based on ~nev~table shrub Increases wh~ch occur pnnc~pally by ep~sod~c, w~despread, mass establ~shment events Wet per~ods whlch foster shrub establ~shment also promote abundant grass growth pred~sposlng the plant community to be~ng burnt Fue then k~lls nearly all recently establ~shed shrubs and many of theadult shrubs, thereby con- trollmg the shrub populat~on Today, fire IS much less frequent and IS prevented altogether In some areas. Prescr~bed burn~ng before any potential wddflre season w~ll both control shrubs and hm~t the spread of wddfires Three constraints to the adopt~on of prescrtbed burn~ng are recogn~sed economlc benefits are ma~nly real~sed over a 10-20 year term: * grazlers have l~ttle experience and Infrequent opportunltles to learn about fire; grazlers are reluctant to accept the nsks associated with burnmg. If semi-and woodlands are to be burnt at a frequency necessary for shrub control. grazlng pressures may need to be reduced to husband the vlgour of perenn~al pasture plants Opponun~st~c burnlng should take place at times of w~despread shrub seedl~ngestabl~shment. Prescribed burnlng IS the only known method for broad-scale shrub control and relevant State departments and grazlers are urged to collaborate In prescr~bed burn~ng to a regonal strategy. rather than property by property
Full text doi:10.1071/RJ9850064
© ARS 1985