On Friday 6th March, Maddie Clegg, biodiversity campaigner from the Conservation Council, attended an assessment tour of Namadgi National Park, to see first-hand the impact of the fires this summer.
The visit brought together representatives from local member groups, national parks staff and the local community. The purposes of the trip were to gain an understanding of the impacts of the recent fires, determine what recovery efforts are currently in place and what will be required in the coming months.
Whilst some areas remained largely unburnt, providing crucial habitat for remaining local species, other areas are extensively damaged. Evidence of regrowth can be seen throughout pockets of the burnt forest areas, however the forest is still quiet with very little wildlife.
Parks staff are concerned about safety within the park, where burnt trees continue to fall with little warning, electricity wires are adrift and boardwalks have vanished completely. The recent rainfall has also increased the risk of landslides and dangerous road conditions. The park will remain closed to all visitors until some of these dangers are resolved.
Whilst the damage of the fires was extensive and at times confronting, there was evidence of hope and resiliency across the landscape. Large pods of kangaroos could be seen grazing on the fresh grass shoots, wedge tail eagles circulated the remaining forest canopies and a small owlet was seen resting in the hollow of a burnt tree.
National Parks staff have emphasised that the recovery process will take time. This will ensure that the rebuild process is adequately planned to ensure the park is equipped to deal with similar disasters into the future. As a result, they have urged the community to be patient throughout the recovery process.
Find out more by reading the report of our Environment Exchange event held on Wednesday 1st April.
Namadgi National Park, 6th March 2020, following Orroral Valley bushfire, summer 2020. Photos: Maddie Clegg.
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