Quote of the Moment:

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
E.R.

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GRASSROOTS INPUT TO ENVIRONMENTAL DEBATES

Some questions...

Personal view: As land managers, "CHANGE" is the only constant we deal with. Each bit of dirt, each manager and each operation is unique.

How do we convince our departments that a few hours of field-tripping (while the weather and the roads are good), a few photographs and samples and months of reading and writing is not sufficient.

Would it not be far more cost-effective to have some of our senior bureaucrats get out into the paddock with us to learn some basic environmental literacy ?

They could then help us work out what nature has been trying to tell us all along.

None of us have all the answers, but if we who live out here do not get given the time or incentive to look where things are actually happening, who will come up with something better than what we have already got?

Unless we begin to ask some new questions, I do not think we will ever get any new answers.

QUESTIONS FROM THE GRASS-ROOTS:

In what ways does current monitoring by CALM or AGWEST take into account the “health” of the areas that are being monitored?

Do CALM and AGWEST officially recognize the functioning and interrelationship of the four fundamental eco-system processes as an indicator of the relative health of an environment?

If not, why not?

If so, please give examples.

The term "brittleness" with relation to the annual distribution of atmospheric humidity (as a way of classifying terrestrial environments) officially reached the Kimberley in 1997 through courses run by RCS. These courses were promoted by AGWEST and the Beef Team. Would you please comment on how you see the concept of "brittleness" to be of significance in this region?

Do CALM and AGWEST officially recognize the concept of “brittleness”?

If not, why not?

If so, please give examples.

Are you aware of the concept of holistic management?

Are you aware of the difference between an “holistic approach” and the “Holistic Management decision making process”?

At the "Introduction to Holistic Management" gathering late November 1999 participants were asked to form an "holistic goal" towards which management would then be orientated. A three part goal: describing the quality of life aspired (based on one's values), the forms of production needed to produce this quality of life and finally a description of the resource base as it will have to be in the future so that it can continue to support the activity described. Apparently this works well at a personal and family levels;

Do you think it would also work at a community level?
Do you think this approach would work at a departmental level?
How could this approach work with the management of a national park?
Do you think this approach would work at an LCDC level?

Can you give a descriptive example of a landscape goal that you would consider to be in the overall interest of the community on land managed by CALM?

How would the fundamental ecosystem processes have to function in this scenario? (The water cycle, the mineral cycle, energy flow and community dynamics)

Can you give a descriptive example of a landscape goal that you would consider to be in the overall interest of the community on land managed for Aboriginal interests?

How would the fundamental ecosystem processes have to function in this scenario? (The water cycle, the mineral cycle, energy flow and community dynamics)

Can you give a descriptive example of a landscape goal that you would consider to be in the overall interest of the community on land managed for pastoral interests?

How would the fundamental ecosystem processes have to function in this scenario? (The water cycle, the mineral cycle, energy flow and community dynamics)

Can you give a descriptive example of a landscape goal that you would consider to be in the overall interest of the community on land used for crop-farming?

How would the fundamental ecosystem processes have to function in this scenario? (The water cycle, the mineral cycle, energy flow and community dynamics)

What criteria do you currently use to see if your management is on track?

Would you agree that in the Kimberly we lose more soil than we actually build?

Would you agree that soil is the largest export from the Kimberley expressed in tonnage of dry matter?

In this region do you consider soil loss to be a problem in areas managed by CALM?
If so, what in your opinion is the underlying cause of the problem?
If it were feasible how do you think that you could have the biggest beneficial impact?

In this region do you consider soil loss to be a problem in areas managed for Aboriginal interests?
If so, what in your opinion is the underlying cause of the problem?
If it were feasible how do you think that you could have the biggest beneficial impact?

In this region do you consider soil loss to be a problem in areas managed for pastoral interests?
If so, what in your opinion is the underlying cause of the problem?
If it were feasible how do you think that you could have the biggest beneficial impact?

Given that we live on the land and that our livelihood comes directly from the land and that most of us wish for our children to have the opportunity to make a profitable living off the land, could you recommend three possible avenues that could begin to address the cause in a practical manner at an operational level.

In this region do you consider soil loss to be a problem in areas used for crop-farming?
If so, what in you opinion is the underlying cause of the problem? If it were feasible how do you think that you could have the biggest beneficial impact?

What do you think about a change in management whereby we actively encourage the building of soils in country managed by CALM?
What is stopping this from happening now?

What do you think about a change in management whereby we actively encourage the building of soils in country managed for Aboriginal interests?
What is stopping this from happening now?

What do you think about a change in management whereby we actively encourage the building of soils in country managed for pastoral interests?
What is stopping this from happening now?

What do you think about a change in management whereby we actively encourage the building of soils in country used for crop-farming?
What is stopping this from happening now?

Please explain your opinion on the current role of fire in areas managed by CALM.

Please explain your opinion on the current role of fire in areas managed for Aboriginal interests.

Please explain your opinion on the current role of fire in areas managed for pastoral interests.

Please explain your opinion on the current role of fire within the Ord Irrigation Area.

What do you think about the use of animals as a land management tool?

Should we be using them in our catchments?

Please comment on the prevailing levels of succession in country managed by CALM.

How would an overall advance in the level of succession affect the environmental integrity of such a landscape?

Please comment on the prevailing levels of succession in country managed for Aboriginal interests. How would an overall advance in the level of succession affect the environmental integrity of such a landscape?

Please comment on the prevailing levels of succession in country managed for pastoral purposes. How would an overall advance in the level of succession affect the environmental integrity of such a landscape?

Please comment on the prevailing levels of succession in country within the Ord Irrigation Area. How would an overall advance in the level of succession affect the environmental integrity of this landscape?

If what we learn at courses run by RCS and Holistic Management is correct, we have to accept that our bureaucratic bodies have to be pulled in line with functional science (= what actually works). If that is not done we will continue to pay for public servants to dream up more and more nonsensical publications and legislation.