The Grassy Box Woodlands CMN

Conservation Management Network
The GBW CMN is a voluntary; community based multi-tenure network, with an emphasis on active management of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands (BGGW), providing support and encouragement for managers of BGGW whether they are managing sites as part of a productive system or managing for conservation. Very few sites occur in conservation reserves because of their fragmented nature so the GBW CMN relies on respectful partnerships and cooperation to promote management regimes that maintain enhance and protect BGGW values.

The Grassy Box Woodland Conservation Management Network (GBW CMN) started in 1998 when a team lead by Ecological Interaction and Community Solutions, saw a need to start raising the awareness of the plight of Grassy Box Woodlands. The initial project “Taking Action Now” focused on Grassy White Box Woodlands, it soon became apparent that the focus needed to broaden to White box, Yellow Box and Blakely’s Red Gum (BGGW) when a partnership was formed with the then National Parks & Wildlife Service. Since 1998 the Australian Government with the support of the State, has funded the GBW CMN. Over the past 10 years the network has maintained its original function of raising awareness, but has expanded into areas of information sharing, education and lobbying, through its newsletter, web site, and support of many BGGW initiatives. The network works with many organisations across 7 catchments (Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Hunter, Central West, Namoi & Border Rivers Gwydir), including Catchment Management Authorities, educational institutions, research groups, Landcare groups and individuals, to provide field days, forums and workshops, determined by the member’s needs and interest. A diverse range of people belong to the GBW CMN, all with an interest in protecting and improving the biodiversity values in the remaining Box Gum Grassy Woodlands.

White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland (BGGW)
BGGW is characterised by a diverse mix of species, dominated by the White Box, Yellow Box and/or Blakely's Red Gum. Box Gum Grassy Woodlands are listed as an endangered ecological community under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and White Box - Yellow Box - Blakely's Red Gum Woodlands are listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.

This community is found on relatively fertile soils of the lower slopes on the tablelands and western slopes of NSW, grass and herbaceous species generally characterise the ground layer. Shrubs are generally sparse or absent.

BGGW have been drastically reduced in area and highly fragmented because of clearance for cropping and pasture improvement leaving them severely depleted and fragmented. Further remnants of the community are degraded as a consequence of disturbance. Some remnants of these communities survive with the trees partly of wholly removed by post European activities, and conversely, often remnants of these communities survive with these tree species largely intact but ground layers degraded to varying degrees through grazing or pasture modification.

Remnants are subject to varying degrees of threat that jeopardise their viability.
These threats include: further clearing (for cropping, pasture improvement or urban development); deterioration of remnant condition (caused by firewood cutting, increased livestock grazing, weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes, soil disturbance and increased nutrient loads); degradation of the landscape in which remnants occur (including soil acidification, salinity, and loss of connectivity between remnants).

For further information on the BGGW community go to the
Australian Government website:
» http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicshowcommunity.p...
NSW government website:
» http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au

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