We like the rest of rest of the nation and international community are devastated to see the destruction caused by the bushfires that are occurring this summer. Our thoughts and support go out to the communities affected.
It has been amazing to see the appeals being made on behalf of Australia in the wake of the bushfires out East. We have even seen appeals on our behalf, for which we are very grateful.
We do, however, want to be clear that none of our planting sites are currently within the fire areas. As we’ve gotten many inquiries in about the fires, we thought we’d do a quick FAQ summary below.
Do we work in the areas currently impacted by bushfires? We have no current projects in these areas. Where we plant is dependent on where we can source suitable land to create a biodiverse native carbon sink and get a covenant to protect the trees for 25-100 years. You can see a map of our projects here.
Are we at risk of losing any trees we’ve planted? All bushland is susceptible to fires, but, as of today, there are no bushfires near our planting sites.
How do we protect our projects against bushfires? We prepare fire management plans for each of our planting sites. This includes outlining any potential fire risks or hazards, the location of fire breaks, and the accessibility of water supplies and fire fighting equipment. Because we plant native trees and shrubs, many of the species are adapted to survive occasional bushfires. Here’s a post we wrote about a bushfire that hit a SA planting site of ours in 2014, and how it rebounded after the fire: https://cncf.com.au/rising-from-the-ashes/.
Will we work in these areas in the future? Maybe. The damage to the land affected by these extreme bushfires has to be assessed at the end of the fires to know the extent of the damage and determine the right course of action for restoration. Native restoration needs planning and local seed collection, so it cannot happen immediately. The planting would have to be in agreement with whoever owns the land.
Recovering from the bushfires will be a slow process. Like watching a tree grow from sapling to towering canopy, it will take time and commitment. We certainly hope to be part of the process, planting as many trees as we can, and capturing as much carbon as we can, for our Earth’s future.