Hi Good People!
We hope you had a great start to 2019. We all did.
Much happened in 2018 and news from Kachana was very intermittent. We apologise for the poor communication. That does not mean we did not think of you all and talk about you from time to time!
2019 promises to be another interesting year. Our ecological challenges have now become political ones.
‘Using problem-species as part of the solution’ is not politically correct. ☹
Some individuals in high places still believe that replacing large herbivores with fire is a good idea.
Australia actually ran this experiment a very long time ago with disastrous ecological consequences. Now we seem hell-bent on repeating it!
In the absence of large herbivores Aboriginals did well to even survive. Then again, we are told they seldom (if ever) needed to sustain a population of more than a few million people at one time. With the advent of Australia's New Megafauna we now actually have the opportunity to effectively rehydrate vast tracts of land. This would likely have multiple beneficial flow-on effects. – At least that is what the land is telling us.
The science too, is reasonably clear on this, but other than Philipp’s Carbon data and Louise’s preliminary number-crunching of those figures, all we have is decades of hands-on experience and photographs of what things were like when we took on this challenge. It has become apparent that this is not good enough.
Hopefully by the end of the year this will have changed and we will have some projects on the go that match the scientific rigor argued for by Richard Teague (see the first hyper-link of this paragraph).
The fate of our wild donkeys remains undecided. Of course, we hope that at the end of the year we will still have our donkeys alive and working for us. Without them progress would be much slower, trickier and limited to the valley bases. It also means we need to burn even more than we already are! – On this note we sincerely thank every-body who supported us during 2018 [and earlier] in the case we make for using donkeys as a land-management tool. - Some of the public exposure we got is listed at the bottom of this page.
Your support and constructive criticism is most welcome! – Please keep both coming! :)
We hope you enjoy the selection of photos for January:
An ongoing challenge: How do we avoid “Rivers of Blood”?
The four photos up top were taken in early December 2018 in the catchment of the Chamberlain River on Kachana.
We’d hardly had any rain, yet the rivers in the unmanaged areas were already turning red!
As we like to remind people:
- Less managed large herbivores = less grass
- Less grass = less water
For those who have not been watching Australia’s news recently: Australia’s greatest biosecurity threat it's susceptibility to drought, flood and fire...
Certainly not Donkeys! Not brumbies! Not camels! – Other than cattle and buffalo these are the only manageable severe grazers we currently have available on this continent.
(As with domesticated livestock [and even ourselves as humans!], we need to manage behaviour and population levels. Contexts matter! “One size fits all” has never worked yet.)
Blaming, attacking and killing large herbivores without consideration for local ecological contexts, tend to be political side-shows and distractions. Everybody ends up losing.
Again, we thank everybody who in the last eighteen months has assisted us in spreading the message:
Australia needs regenerative practices in its broader landscapes – pastoralism holds the key
That key is Australia’s New Megafauna and our capacity to influence their behaviour
We hope that this message sinks in at government and electorate levels before we run out of funds.
Only last week our ABC brought out an article warning about further implications of feral weather.
Might the realities of the commercial world speed up the response to existing challenges? – We sincerely hope they will.
Already in 2016 company directors were put on notice.
“It is likely to be only a matter of time before we see litigation against a director who has failed to perceive, disclose or take steps in relation to a foreseeable climate-related risk that can be demonstrated to have caused harm to a company.” N.H.
What about other decision-makers?
It might be a very good idea if more of us do our homework.
Here I paraphrase Noel Hutley:It is likely to be only a matter of time before we see accountability being demanded from senior decision-makers and advisors who have failed to perceive, disclose or take steps in relation to a foreseeable climate-related risk that can be demonstrated to have caused harm to individuals, businesses or public property.
We wish you and your loved ones good health and a rewarding season.
May February end up being a great month for you all!
Greetings from Kachana and its custodians and workers.
Quote of the Month:
“It was the moral failings of each person at the level of the individual,
that was actually the cause of the totalitarian catastrophe.”
J Peterson evaluates the sobering insights of Frankel and Solzhenitsyn