Decade of Ecological Restoration Series – Episode 3 – Native Regeneration on Mevlana Community
Wren met with Michael Murray, shareholder of Mevlana for 25 years, at the eastern end of the community lands where a large coastal melaleuca swamp forest has been regenerated. “We removed camphor, lantana and other weeds so that the native vegetation could again dominate the site” Like other wetland forest ecosystems, a large amount of carbon is stored in the biomass and soil components of Melaleuca forests which helps to combat global climate change.
When the community was established 34 years ago, a no cats and dogs rule was made which greatly benefits wildlife. Also a number of grants have been implemented since then to care for the native vegetation. “There was a period when we would meet monthly on a Saturday to plant trees and maintain previous plantings. That still happens on occasion but we hope to bring that back regularly again”
The most recent planting was a 3-4 acres koala corridor which was identified and planted out some 15 years ago by Byron Shire Council’s Koala Connections program. “There has been lots of smaller strip and cluster plantings as well as people planting natives in their own immediate gardens.
One of the original shareholders and their son have cattle, they rotate them around in a semi-regenerative way that may help store some carbon, but not all shareholders are fully unified on this strategy.
Michael understands the importance of diversifying their land use and increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil as one way of drawing down carbon dioxide.
“Looking after the land is one thing that unifies the whole community. We have two large areas of valuable vegetation that are separated by paddocks and we need to plant a corridor to link them together”.
“We also have a 26ha area of flat land currently used for hay harvesting that could be used for farming or reforestation. We also have 4 or 5 other smaller areas of an acre or less that could be used for market gardening.” We are inviting food growers to come and discuss how we can share this land for a win-win
Wren was able to link Michael up with some carbon framing opportunities available for areas of land between 5-200ha, through Rainforest 4 Foundation, WWF and Greening Australia
For farmers wanting to connect, Bruno from Mevlana can be contacted on 0413 105 180
The UN has declared 2021 - 2030 the decade of ecological restoration. Preventing, halting and reversing loss of nature. Checkout the scope of what needs to be done here and get along to our local Regeneration Festival on March 4th in Mullumbimby. Tickets are free but limited so book now to avoid missing out.
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