Royal National Park
In 2014 Bush-it was asked to prepare a Vegetation Management Plan for heritage areas in the Royal National Park. Bush-it was approached on the strength of a previous VMP prepared for another part of the Royal National Park. Specifically, the plan was to manage the native and exotic vegetation within the curtilages of three heritage cabin communities along the southern coast of the park. Preparation of the plan involved vegetation surveys and mapping to identify the type and extent plant communities present, and consultation with interested parties including National Parks and Wildlife Service, indigenous representatives, park users and private cabin licensees.
For the report five native vegetation communities were identified and mapped within the study sites, two of which are declared Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC’s) under the Threatened Species Act, 1995. The native vegetation communities were:
- Coastal Escarpment Littoral Rainforest (EEC)
- Coastal Headland Littoral Thicket (EEC)
- Illawarra Escarpment Bangalay-Banksia Forest
- Coastal Tea-tree-Banksia Scrub
- Beach Spinnifex Grassland
A sixth community was defined as Altered due to the effects of post-colonial occupation of the land.
Individual issues such as erosion, plant pathogens, weed infestations, feral animal damage and track degradation were also identified and mapped. A plan for management and enhancement of the native vegetation was then prepared. The main legislation governing the document was the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974, while other Acts such as the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995, and the commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999, were also relevant.
The Vegetation Management Plan included a major report, as well as a large poster summarising the report for each of the three communities. Feedback on the report from the Royal National Park management has been very positive.