Bombala River - It needs our help...or the weeds will help themselves!
In 2014 we secured the consent of about 70 landholders to participate in the Water For Rivers project being run by Local Land Services NSW. The project was to include the voluntary removal of willow trees from the Bombala River. A key spin-off of that project was to facilitate more weed control along the Bombala River corridor.
Three years on, it is unfortunate that the Water for Rivers operation has not started on the Bombala River. This is out of our control, but it is of no consolation to local land holders.
In the meantime, weed growth has been aggressive due to favourable seasons.
Many landholders tackle the blackberry and broom bush as infestations start, and this keeps the problem managable. However, the sensitivities of using herbicides near major streams is a daunting proposition for many people, and quite rightly so...
Our experience has shown that careful use of herbicides is critical. Whilst weeds are a bad deal, there is no sense in polluting valuable river assets in an attempt to eliminate destructuve weeds. This is why landholders seek assistance, and the use of careful techniques is favoured.
In response to growing community concern, the delayed start to the willow and weed program on the Bombala River, and the confirmation by Local Land Services that insufficient funds exist for this matter, we are seeking opportunities to restore the vegetation and health to the Bombala River.
Our search for project funding continues, and this will be a major focus for our network over the coming 12 months.
If you would like to add support or information for this issue, we would be grateful to hear from you. Thank you.
Triggered by observations from local community members, and the then Bombala Shire Council, we have started discussions with the NSW Department of Lands and Local Land Services about options to tackle the weed infestation of the Bombala River corridor.
Both Departments have confirmed that there are insufficient funds available to tackle the problem...
The above images were taken shortly before major flooding of the Bombala River in early June 2016. Regrettably, the high water flows have simply dispersed the weed problem further downstream, and ultimately into the remote Snowy River wilderness corridor.
The main weeds include African Lovegrass, blackberry vine, English Broom, St Johns Wort, and willows.