K2C mini forum on ACT Government Weeds Strategy

8 DECEMBER Nineteen people attended the recent K2C’s mini forum to hear Steve Taylor’s presentation on “the Government’s Approach to Weed Management”. Steve along with Jenny Connolly, also present, make up the ACT Weeds Team. Between them, they direct the resources devoted to the ACT weed work, and illustrate what can be achieved by a small team of well-informed and strategically-focused people using the latest technology.

As promised this was a fascinating presentation, covered many weed issues and illustrated the new approach that is being taken to weed management. Important elements are a focus on spotting new weeds that have the potential to become invasive quickly and keeping already existing invasive weeds out of the ACT’s extensive areas of National Park, Canberra Nature Park, and reserves and open spaces. Important tasks include new weed outbreaks, mapping and removing or control.

The work is highly reliant on ACT rangers and others who are alert to anything of interest while undertaking their various duties. Rangers may report sightings of rare animals but also outbreaks of weeds. Of course each ranger may not know what each plant sighted is but by photographing and recording any new sighting, potential new weeds are readily identified. Reporting weeds also gives away their location - mapping is an essential element. Having identified a weed outbreak it can be dealt with either by ranger or by a weed contractor as necessary. Nowadays, weeding drones are also being used on occasion.

Part of the approach is the use of resources such as Canberra Nature Map (CNM) and Canberra and South East Weeds Facebook site. CNM allows anyone to report a plant or animal sighting, including any weed plant. Any weed sightings on CNM is quickly targeted by Steve and Jenny if it needs attention. The facebook site also has many followers - you too can access it and become a Friend. Many people use the site to assist with plant identification and or to report weed sightings. The site also mentions many tips about approaches to weeding. Many of the Facebook Friends live outside the ACT but find it very helpful, especially Steve and Jenny are wonderful responders. 

Steve fielded many questions from strategy, plant identification, herbicide mixes and uses of technology. A big thanks Steve and Jenny for the excellent work and your presentation on this occasion. 

For more information and or to get involved logon to the Friends of the Canberra and South East Weeds (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=468701190176993&set=gm.446203752419520&type=3&theater).