Members of the A.N.A Ranger group engaged in a two-night, three-day survey of natural reserves surrounding the Murrumbidgee River in NSW before the new-year. The object of the adventure apart from the obvious leisure and challenge was to consider potential conservation activities for the area.
We identified in our survey the following key threats to the native ecosystems surrounding the river:
- Wild goat population which can increase erosion risks along the river
- Significant amounts of scotch thistle and Patterson’s curse throughout the riverbanks and gorges.
Managing these risks to the reserve is a labour-intensive task and as such it creates difficulty for action on behalf of the Parks & Wildlife service. The A.N.A Ranger group will be pursuing permit to conduct volunteer conservation work in the reserve relating to pest and weed control work.
The survey has also found notable heritage value in the reserve, particularly with pioneering structures of local stone along Butlers Creek and what appears to be a previously UN-investigated pioneer hut along Slacks Creek also constructed from local stone. The preservation and maintenance of these items of our colonial heritage is of great importance to the A.N.A and this will form part of our heritage work in the coming year.