School Assessment Task 3 Environmental Impacts The Grampians
1. Impacts Intorduction Impacts of commercial activities- Commercial impacts on the environment are impacts that may alter the natural environment, which can lead to destruction of places like the Grampians by things like timber harvesting. Some examples of commercial activities that may affect the natural environment may include such things as; agriculture, mining, timber harvesting, tourism, fishing, scientific exploration, irrigation and development or urbanisation. Impact of recreational activities- Recreational impacts have significant impacts such as bush walking, rock climbing, cross country and down hill skiing can take its toll on the flora and fauna in places like the Grampians, they are not as bad as commercial activities but can greatly impact the vegetation possibly leading to extinction of that plant . Impact of conservational activities- Conservation is mostly trying to help sustain the natural environment. Some examples of this may include revegetation and rehabilitation.
Commercial Activities- Farming and Agriculture. Most of the land in Australia is used for farming. Farming can include many things such as growing crops (ie. Wheat, sugar cane, barley, cotton, canola, etc), selling livestock (ie cows, sheep, pigs) for things like meat, dairy or wool or farming fruit, rice or flowers. Some of the impacts of agricultural activity include: * Loss of arable land through salinisation. *Decline in water quality *Introduction of weed species and disease *Declining biodiversity through clearing of large areas of forest and woodland vegetation and habitat. Timber Harvesting. This industry is about turning timber, such as native trees into things like woodchips or sawn timber for commercial use. By doing this it can take away important vegetation that animals and other plants rely on, leading to extinction of that plant in that particular area. Some of the impacts timber harvesting has on the environment include: * Fragmentation of forest and loss of habitat * Poisons entering waterways and food webs *Soil compaction and loss of leaf litter *Removal of habitat provided by dead and fallen timber
Recreational Activities- Camping. Camping can have a significant impact on the environment this can be judged by things like; how the area was used and if it has at all made any remotely bad changes to the environment. Some examples of major damage can include: *Fire scars *Depletion to vegetation as camper seeks firewood *Inappropriate rubbish disposal and toileting practices *Soil compaction and erosion from repeated trampling and tent picking- Which can occur on frequently used camping grounds. Rock Climbing. Rock climbing can only alter one area of the environment, the stature of the rocks that are being climbed. By climbing the rocks, they can become loose and break off, causing a serious altercation in the hills and rocks. Some examples of this may include: *Defoliation of the area at the base of popular climbing routes *Soil compaction from trampling *Installation of permanent fixtures such as bolts, belay points and ladders *Defacing the rock surface through chipping and smoothing.
Conservation Activities- Fire prevention measures. This relates to the way in which we stop bushfires from occurring and damaging the environment. Some examples of this may include: * Establishment and maintenance of access roads and water storage facilities leading to vegetation removal and soil compaction *Creation of firebreaks and practice of prescribed burning leading to vegetation modification. Management strategies. Relating to the way in which we manage the environment so there is little-no damage done to the environment all together. This may include such things as: *Creation of walkways, viewing platforms and erosion control measures such as rubber matting and chicken wire to minimise soil loss, compaction, braiding and vegetation loss *Introduction of composting toilets to centralise toileting and minimise associated pollution issues.
2. Background Background on the Grampians National Park A. List 2 organisations that have a role in managing the Grampians National Park. Parks Victoria and Spatial Vision. B. In a maximum of 2 sentences describe what each of these organisations responsible are. Parks Victoria is the actual organisation that runs and manages the Grampians while Spatial Vision was contracted by them to create signs for around the park area. C. When was it declared a National Park? The Grampians National Park was declared a national park in 1984. D. How much area does it cover? It covers around 167,000 ha. E. What are some of the flora and fauna you are likely yo find at the Grampians? The most common plants found are the; Stringy bark forest plant, Rocky woodland plant, Red Gum forest plant, Heathy woodland plant, Riparian forest plant, Heathland. The most common animals found are; Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, possums, gliders, heath mouse, Peregrine falcon, lorikeets, honeyeaters, parrots, cockatoos, babblers, choughs, wrens robins, fantails, whistlers, water skink, long-necked tortoise & snakes to name a few.
3. Introduced Species The Feral Fox. It was introduced to Australia in 1855 and became fully established in the early 1870’s. It was introduced to Australia so it could be used to hunt. Most English men would hunt foxes as a sport and so it was introduced to Australia for that reason also. They have been able to adapt to the climate in Australia and adapt to the native vegetation in certain areas, making them well adapted to last as a species. The feral fox is found in most parts of Australia accept for small parts in western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. It has become a known character of rabies which can be spread through other animals and even humans. Many techniques have been tried to manage or even exterminate this species, such things as; shooting, hunting, vaccines, poisons and fences/boundaries. The fox has played a major role in the decline of certain native animals, including; Ground nesting birds, small- medium sized mammals such as the bilby and small- medium sized reptiles such as the turtle. Foxes have also left a major impact on economic losses by targeting newborn lambs, kid goats and poultry, which causes significant losses to farmers.
4. The Grampians National Park Fire prevention measures and management strategies Preserving the environment so it will be there in many years to come and local fauna and flora wont become extinct. Conservational Uses Farming and agriculture, cattle grazing, timber harvesting, mining and development. Exploiting the area for developmental purposes Commercial Uses Hiking and rock climbing Recreational impacts have significant impacts on the environment although they aren’t as bad as commercial uses they still damage the environment. Recreational Uses Cave Drawings Cultural areas in the Grampians where Aboriginals may find some significant cultural value. Cultural Examples of practice Value this thing/groups place on the environment (describe) For The:
5. Codes of Conduct Bushwalking- When Bushwalking; * Stay on the track. * Avoid sensitive vegetation. * Walk softly. * Use toilets. * Don’t light fires Positives: *Is a minimal impact form of scenic touring *It is a free way to view the scenery *Good exercise Negatives: *No safety equipment provided *Can be dangerous *Time consuming- Depending on how far you walk *Can cause injuries.
Mountain Biking: When Mountain bike riding: * Ride on roads and management vehicle tracks only. * Respect the rights of others * If you meet walkers, announce your presence and slow down, give them right of way as you pass. * Avoid skidding * Stay away from wet, muddy areas * Check tracks and regulations before you start Positives: * Quick way to view the scenery *Good exercise Negatives: *Dangerous if the paths are unsafe *Can cause major injuries *Dangerous if there are other bushwalkers around *Damaging to the environment
6. Minimising Impacts Minimising impacts; commercial and recreational. Minimising human impacts caused by recreational use: Some examples that can help minimise human, recreational impacts: *Walk only on formed tracks and avoids creating new pathways *Camp only in designated camping areas and “hard” surfaces *Use fuel stoves *Do not light fires on days of total fire ban Minimising human impact caused by commercial use: Some examples that can help minimise human, commercial impacts: *Abide by catch size and limit regulations when fishing *Fish in designated commercial fishing areas with an appropriate licence *Restore plant communities and habitat by revegetation programs
7. Conflicts of Interest Bushwalker vs. Mountain biker Bushwalker: *After more of a scenic tour then a fast ride past all the landscape *May find it hard to focus on their walk if bike riders are passing them all the time *Think bike riders shouldn’t be allowed because of the dangers (ie bad pathways) *Feel as though bikes ruin the vegetation *Feel as though they are unsafe with bikes passing them all the time *Feel as though bike riders don’t respect the land Mountain bikers: *May feel as though bushwalkers slow them down *There should be paths made for bike riders as well as bushwalkers *Would rather Focus on the ride and the exercise then the landscape/view.
8. Mobile blogs on the pinnacle. Listen to the following blogs from the top of the pinnacle. What impact is Lance talking about? How could this impact be conservational? Railway and steps on the way up to the pinnacle. Paths can help people avoid harming any of the native vegetation in the area. What are the positives and negatives of the impact Lance mentions? Flora and fauna; kills plants, because they get walked over by hikers. The paths and steps help hikers who are hiking the pinnacle, to minimise the possibility of injuries for people hiking. What sort of interest groups would contribute to the impacts at the site Lance mentions? Conservation groups, greenies, site managers, park managers, groups interested in urbanising the area.
What impact is Ashlee talking about? What type of impact do you think this is? Crushing of fauna along the pathways of the pinnacle. It can be put down to a recreational impact because people have damaged the fauna while hiking. What has been done to limit or stop the damage of this impact along the walk to the pinnacle? Path ways, signs, steps and posts have been put in to keep hikers on one SAFE track to keep the other flora and fauna in the area from being damaged.
Zoning You must make a decision regarding the land classification of the Grampians. I would make the Grampians a national park, because it holds a national significance, judged by its size and the variety of native Australian flora and fauna that live within the vicinity of the Grampians. Possible cultural influences may be suited more towards a state park, but the size of it is more closely linked to a national park.