Four New Fire Trails
The construction of these proposed fire trails was identified in the 2005 Strategic Bushfire Management Plan (2.8MB .pdf) (SBMP) developed by the ACT Government to ensure uniform fire management standards across the ACT. The objective of the fire trails is to provide ‘tanker standard’ access to these areas of Namadgi National Park and the Bullen Range Nature Reserve to support fire management strategies, in particular, fire suppression and fire fuel reduction measures.
Parks, Conservation and Lands (Department of Territory and Municipal Services) has engaged Brown Consulting (ACT) Pty Ltd to prepare concept designs, Preliminary Assessments and Development Applications for four new fire trails proposed through Namadgi National Park and the Bullen Range Nature Reserve.
The fire trails will be 4m wide with a clear shoulder of 2m each side of that (ie a total clear width of 8m). Depending on terrain there may be some cut batters and also along the route there will be some passing bays (these locations will be about 10m wide).
Map of Overall Locality
Map of Spencer's Border Fire Trail
Map of Stockyard Spur Fire Trail
Map of Bullen Fire Trail
Map of Orroral Fire Trail
Brown Consulting and the team of specialist sub consultants are undertaking fieldwork to survey and assess the impacts of the proposed fire trails. This includes an assessment of Flora, Fauna and Landscape, Natural and Cultural Heritage, Visual and Aesthetic Impacts and Soil Erodibility. The team is also consulting with key user groups of Namadgi National Park and Bullen Range Nature Reserve. The National Parks Association of the ACT is one of the groups being consulted with.
A public display was available at Namadgi Visitors Centre between 28 April 2007 to 6 May 2007 to enable people to view these plans in more detail. A feedback form
was available for you to fill in and make comment until 18/5/07. The NPAACT submission is here
The preparation of Preliminary Assessments (as required by the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991) and Development Applications for the four proposed fire trails is underway, and it is anticipated that these will be lodged in June 2007, when ACTPLA will undertake the associated formal public consultation process.
Dispelling Myths about Fires in National Parks
Here are some facts
from the recent Senate Inquiry on Protected Areas
Federal Government Natural Disaster and Bushfire Mitigation Projects
Here is a spreadsheet of the current Federally funded Natural Disaster projects
and Bushfire Mitigation projects
for the ACT. Additional money has been recently allocated by the Prime Minister. See here
Points we suggested you might like to make in your letter
it wasn't possible to discuss the impacts on cultural heritage at the public display because the consultant for Natural and Cultural Heritage was absent from the briefing session at Namadgi Visitors' Centre on Wednesday 2 April;
the objective of the fire trails is "to support fire management strategies, in particular, fire suppression and fire fuel reduction measures." Fuel reduction burns can sometimes turn into bushfires;
establishment of more fire trails often leads to increased illegal 4WD, trail-bike and arson activities;
in its briefing on the Senate Report on Protected Areas, the World Commission on Protected Areas said that mental health values are emerging values which reinforces what many people say: that they go to the bush for spiritual refreshment, to get away from it all, to re-energise, for sheer enjoyment or however you wish to put it;
construction of fire trails in rugged terrain is costly: $1.2 million per 7 km of fire trail for Stockyard Spur, also maintenance of such fire trails with effective erosion mitigation measures is very expensive;
ideally, fire trails should be built at right angles to the prevailing direction of bushfires. Bushfires hitting Namadgi are predominantly from the north-west or from the west.
Reports on Fire Management
These Victorian reports
are very interesting. A Fire History of the Alps is here
The time line for the project is being maintained here.
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