During the 2020 Orroral Valley bushfire, the RFS installed approximately 20 km of containment lines over rural properties adjacent to Namadgi National Park. Some of the containment lines that were created are now a source of sediment pollution into creeks and waterways which are having an impact on aquatic habitats.
Bushfire Recovery Project
This project will carry out stabilisation/restoration of containment lines, minimising the impact of erosion on the ecological values of waterways and threatened aquatic fauna downstream.
The project will hold a field day/workshop that will demonstrate best practice track management to withstand erosion and build understanding amongst landowners in the region. The Ngunnawal Traditional Custodians will provide a walk and talk highlighting the values of the downstream environment.
The Landcare Coordination group will oversee volunteer citizen science monitoring of the project. The project will also link with a Future Drought Fund funded citizen science workshop being held in the same area.
Thus far, only minimal rehabilitation of the containment lines installed to control the spread of the 2020 Orroral Valley fire has been undertaken on rural properties in the ACT. Eroding containment lines are a contributor to post-fire sedimentation of ACT rivers and streams.
This sedimentation causes problems for aquatic fauna by limiting food gathering by sight, reducing photosynthesis of aquatic plants, reducing water quality by adding excessive nutrients to the system leading to eutrophication, and by smothering structural habitat and infilling channels.
Our native species, including Murray Cod and Macquarie Perch, need low sedimentation to breed and grow.
Male Murray Cod fan their nest to keep the eggs clean. If there is too much sediment, they cannot maintain this and the eggs die.
Macquarie Perch need clean riffles to breed in. Too much sediment clogs the gaps in the rocks and smothers the eggs.
We aim to minimise sedimentation so that we can maintain habitat health and clean water which will in turn support healthy populations of threatened species, native fish, and animals such as platypus and rakali in our rivers. This will in turn reduce the abundance of pest species such as carp.
The aim is to enhance the recovery and maximise the resilience of fire-affected native plant and animal species, ecological communities, and natural assets within the seven regions identified as most impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, to build capacity for better delivery of environmental bushfire recovery projects, to increase engagement and participation of local Landcare groups, landholders and others in bushfire recovery activities.
You can find more information about this project by: