Posts Tagged ‘Eucalyptus deanii’

Grose Leadership

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
The following article was first published in the Blue Mountains Gazette newspaper 20060122:
.Blue Gum Forest, Grose Valley, Blue Mountains
[Source: AK Bushwalks, ^]


A tall moist open forest dominated by Blue Gum (Eucalyptus deanii) characterises the famous ‘Blue Gum Forest’ at the junction of the Grose River and Govetts Creek in the Grose Wilderness.

But there would be no Blue Gum Forest if it were not for the efforts of a dedicated band of very fit bushwalkers seventy odd years ago.  In 1931, under the leadership of Myles Dunphy, the ‘save Blue Gum Forest’ campaign was ignited by the threat by a leaseholder on the Grose River/Govetts Creek junction wanting to clear the icon stand of tall blue gums for cattle grazing.  Consisting of members of the Wildlife Preservation Society, the Sydney Bush Walkers and the Mountain Trails Club, they formed the Blue Gum Forest Committee.  Hard campaigning secured purchase of the forest for £130, which they handed back to the Crown and on 2nd September 1932 was proclaimed a recreation reserve.  They unknowingly in their bold defence of the Blue Gum Forest, established what has become known as Australia’s ‘cradle of conservation‘.

It took another 27 years of wilderness campaigning for The Blue Mountains National Park to be proclaimed in 1959 and the Blue Gum Forest incorporated two years later.

Despite deserved World Heritage listing in 2000, the Grose has again come under threat. This time last year, tonnes of caramel sediment from highway upgrade stockpiling at Leura started choking Govett’s Creek.  Seems the RTA simply underestimated Mountains weather.

To the credit of Leura residents, grassroots leadership has again emerged to defend the Grose and to hold the RTA accountable.  A year hence, council has responded with a working party to develop remedial actions, although ‘in-creek’ action remains wanting. Abundant photographic evidence and a moral obligation warrant the RTA fund ecological remediation.

Caramel-coloured construction sediment from the RTA’s Trucking Expressway
Leura, Blue Mountains 2006
(click photo to enlarge, the click again to enlarge again)


But where was the custodial manager of the Grose while the damage was being reported?  The Department of Environment and Conservation (National Parks) and the environmental enforcer (the EPA) have been conspicuously muted to environmental breaches caused by their sister government agency.

RTA sediment from the upstream Trucking Expressway development
polluting Govetts Creek inside the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Photo of Editor in Govetts Creek, Leura, Blue Mountains 2006


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