Non-destructive revegetation project

The point of ‘non-destructive revegetation’ is to demonstrate that we needn’t destroy existing biodiversity in order to establish native plants. This is a perfectly reasonable observation and should be a no brainer for Landcarers, NRM professionals, polliticians and funding bodies alike, but for some strange reason it feels like a subversive act to be planting native trees without killing all of the existing non-nativist ecology first.

This is because, right now, government funding is being poured into willow (and other weed) removal throughout southeast Australia. Riparian forests are being poisoned and torn out and the tax-payer is footing the bill.

As we expand our non-destructive revegetation trial we hope it will demonstrate to existing land management authorities and funding bodies that if your goal is to increase diversity and promote improved ecosystem function, then the eco-destruction that typically precedes many “revegetation” projects is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. We should be adding species components to these systems to boost their complexity, not neurotically attempting to purify them by purging all organisms we consider to be ‘foreigners’.

The point of our project is to question the puritanical excesses of nativism by demonstrating the capacity for natives and non-natives to co-exist and the potential to augment diversity without returning to a bare-earth ecological ground-zero first. Consider the tax dollars that could be saved by not sending in the excavators to remove all those non-nativist riparian forests before native seedlings are planted beside an incised flow-line. Think of all the intact non-nativist habitat that could be saved; the wildlife that would remain undisturbed; the herbicides not spreading in our streams.