We've had a dreadful summer for honey harvest....
I've heard that the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW, also known as Dept of Sparks and Wildfires) has declared they will burn 45% of the vast state of Western Australia every six years. I have not seen that in writing. But I have heard it from a reputable source. Environment Minister (can you be called Environment Minister when you announce this?) Stephen Dawson announced that as of May 2018, “216,000 hectares of prescribed burning had been achieved - the second year in a row that the target of at least 200,000 hectares has been exceeded”. Given that Western Australia is an enormous state, and when I say vast I mean enormous, gigantic, big, huge!
It is 2, 500, 000 km square. That's 10 times greater than the UK, 7 times bigger than Germany, and equal in size to China - but with 1 billion LESS people. I can only marvel at the amount of burning that that’s going to involve. Who could think this would be a sustainable and sensible plan? Today on my walk along the Munda Biddi track – a cycling trail the WA government has set up to encourage tourism, there was a stand of dead sheok and banksias – the bush around looked good but had been burnt a few years before and we think this was a casualty.
DPAW say ‘This amount of prescribed burning will significantly reduce the threat and severity of devastating bushfires, minimising the risk to life, infrastructure and biodiversity values by reducing the build-up of flammable vegetation and ground fuels”. Surely you can’t protect biodiversity by setting fire to it? Maybe it’s just me? But Chief
Seattle’s quote is ringing in my ears. I’d love to know what all this fire is going to do for global warming and our oxygen levels. Rant rant rant!
Romy Surtees works with Glenn Pattinson at Elixir Honey, the rural Western Australian good honey business that helps to keep busy people healthy & energised.