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Barefootpicker

Chem Free Regen...

6 posts in this topic

Ive done Bush regeneration for a job for past 2 years but I just quit... Its just come down to spraying too much chemical and I feel it was destroying my soul... I dont feel the as though the industry will ever get ontop of the problem and doing regen in this way is adding to the problem. Im all for having native bushland but ive come to terms with the facts exotic plants are here to stay.

I dream of owning a company that does Chemical Free Bush Regeneration but this would mean slowing down the work rate 10x and adding the labour 10x.

My reason for this topic is too ask the question :

What is everyones opinion on how Bush Regeneration is Handled?

I live in SE QLD and have only worked for Councils and 1 Private contractor so I cant say I know how other people tackle the situation but I would love to here people opinions on the Chemicals used and the idea of Bush Regeneration in general.

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i'm not saying one way or the other..

but it's easy to convince yourself something is worse than it is (or that something is fine), and from there on it's psychosomatic.

why do you believe herbicides are so bad?

i'd be happier if people like you were undertaking the work, being careful with mix rates, spillage, off-target spraying and waterways, and i could go on. now that you've quit they will fill your role with somebody who might be reckless with the chemicals and every other aspect of their job.

edit: feel free to provide more specific details about your employers, their workplace culture and specifically which chemicals you used.

your dream is nice but the niche for that kind of work is probably TINY, for now anyway.

Edited by ThunderIdeal

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I came across fellas spraying the side of a National park road a few weeks back. They were targeting the lantana but the array of native species that use the lantana to regenerate is pretty big in this rainforest area. The more they clear, the more the lantana spreads and the natives require it for a foothold and shelter. My point is I saw them spray a large stand of doryphora sassafras that were coming up between the weeds, and the blokes were adamant whatever they sprayed would die and they were doing a tops job..

I agree with Thunder, if you want that type of existence join a landcare group and help then out. Either that or start selling the idea of natural regeneration to farmers, start raisin your own stocks too. A family member does this out west, essentially they'll manage a section of land for the cockys which in turn the cocky can get subsidies for if its not farmed conventionally.

Look for govt grants, subsidies etc that are available to people with land, then wrap your plan around that... I mada a big wack of cash when I was young riding the govt lightbulb scheme. 22 with govt approval, buying lightbulbs from Korea for $0.12-$0.30, giving them away, and receiving $2-3 for each lightbulb given out.. Not to mention the money the data we collected was worth... A great little project, the guy I did it with is currently doing 'energy audits' for public schools, school pays $300 for his service and he banks $2-3k each job.

Just check out those places and this'll fall into play for you somehow.

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Depends on the target weed... and ecosystem your attempting to remediate.

"cut n paste" and "frill and drill" is used down here for a few species, spray on others. Riparian area work is in general the most sensitive and where more manual work is used down this way.

Sometimes you need to smash a species to get a hold, then have a few years follow up spot spraying (like if you have something that has set a seed bed that'll germinate for the next 14 years).

Also depends on how you want to tackle an infestaton. Really should pick the edges off and work back in (or upstream and then down), but I've seen fed funded jobs start in the thickest part of infestations for political purposes (l"ook what we did - a lot of willow work)..... I am of the opinion that you pick your weed battles and make expenditure where you can get the most effective management.

A lot of manual jobs are done through Natural Resource Management groups (NRM/CMA), and so being volunteer labour driven (landcare etc) it costs SFA.....it would be rare that the full labour costs would be shelled out. Worth hunting down local NRM body and having a chat.

Consultancy on integrated weed management may be a better niche, workshops/training delivered to landholders/local government.Even it it becomes a specialty on one WONS weed.

Being a jaded bastard I am less than optimistic that Tony Abbot is going to shell funds out through the NRM framework to trained and skilled folk for professional weed eradication/control/containment, but if he runs with the Green Army idea (which is a fckn stupid name IMO) there will be a heap of work for the dole folk that are going to need GOOD training and supervision in areas such as weed control.....

EDIT - I own a fair patch or bushland, and in general avoid chems but not shy to open the chem cabinet when I think I need to use the tools and sometimes that is a take no prisoners approach. Other times I burn, grab the brushcutter or run stock over a site as first response.

Edited by waterboy
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I would have to agree on your first point, spraying is generally Over used throughout the industry. It needs to b managed correctly and with respect. I have personally witnessed the use of quite strong herbicides, such as Grazon Extra, being used without any PPE whatsoever. In some situations a selective Herbicide can be used which will limit loss from overspray. The fact that a lot of Herbicides are derived from ingredients used in warfare and chem weapon development doesn't instill a lot of safety in people. I would also have to agree on the point about certain organisations not following sound bush regen practices and trying to achieve the most visual value. This is unfortunate as bush regen is made for function not fashion. Also has anyone noticed that roundup Biactive says it's safe on frogs, fish, water animals etc. Then it says in small print somewhere up the back of the user instructions, Do Not Use On or Near Water. f@$"n Monsanto.

M

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Just in response to prioritise. If those guys were behaving the way you say, next time ask them who their employers are, and report them. You could also call.the EPA if it's an environmental issue. My experience is that a bush regenerator would never say they have done a good job if the result was a dead or deformed tree, so the people you saw are a minority in the industry. But I have to disagree about removing large areas of lantana causing more of it. I have worked in similar situations with kilometres of lantana and with persistence and using improved targeting methods like gas powered splatter guns it was completely eradicated. Yes lantana does provide some habitat but generally only for a few select species like finches it can also become so thick it will stop any plant succession from seed.

M

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