Hazardous tree removal a step towards reopening
Monday 13 July, 2020
Hundreds of burnt and hazardous trees will be removed next month from visitor areas at Cape Conran Coastal Park as part of Parks Victoria’s bushfire recovery work.
While some parts of the park have reopened to day visitors, the tree works are necessary to reopen other areas like the Banksia Bluff campground for the September school holidays.
Fire impacted trees pose a significant risk as they can drop their limbs without warning, as they may be dead or severely damaged.
Arborists reports focus on high visitation areas such as walking tracks, roads, the campground and other visitor facilities to plan the works.
Severely damaged trees will be mulched to stabilise the fire affected soil, some will be stacked and burnt during future planned burns, while lesser impacted trees will be pruned.
Outside of visitor areas, fire adapted trees will be left to regenerate to provide habitat for birds and other species.
Plant regrowth and the return of insects offer promising signs of environmental recovery, with reports of wallabies, wombats and lace monitors in the local area.
Future works will focus on planting indigenous vegetation, installing fencing to protect significant areas of revegetation and continuing weed management to stop invasive plants and grasses. Animal monitoring and protection programs will also seek to measure the recovery of native fauna.
The tree removal work is expected to be completed by early September, with operations following strict public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The works are part of Parks Victoria’s state-wide recovery program, which is prioritising visitor safety and rebuilding bushfire damaged infrastructure in parks and reserves.
Quotes attributable to Sue Cutlack, Area Chief Ranger Fire Recovery, East Gippsland:
“The safety of our visitors is our highest priority. Bushfire damaged trees pose a risk to visitors and removing them is an essential step towards safely reopening popular visitor areas in the park, such as the Cape Conran Banksia Bluff cabins and campground.”
“Recovery in the park is already underway with many popular day visitor sites open, including the East Cape day visitor area, the Yeerung River beach access point, the Cape Conran Boat ramp at West Cape and Joiners Channel.”
“The next step is to install temporary camping facilities for the September school holidays. Cape Conran is a much-loved camping area and we want to reopen it to the public as soon as possible.”