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End of an Era…

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John Sinclair and Su Dawson from Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) hosted their last weeding trip to Eurong as group leaders in May this year. This was quite a momentous occasion as John has been leading groups of volunteers to carry out weed work on Fraser Island for over 10 years.

Under the stewardship of John and Su, one aspect of the Eurong project has been to demonstrate to landholders the positive attractions of growing only natives and replacing exotic species.  This is done mainly through demonstration gardens at the Eurong Resort, from which many of the worst weeds originated.

Another facet has been dealing with the weeds that have escaped from the gardens and invaded the surrounding bush.  The project has given higher priority to the larger weeds, such as lantana, Easter Cassia and Brazilian Cherries, due to their potential to have the greatest ecological impact on the forest.  However, while there has been notable success in reducing and almost completely eliminating these in the urban area, other weeds have now become a higher priority because their windblown seeds have been dispersed much further than previously known. These weeds are now well established outside the dingo fence and tracking them down will be a challenge for the future.

FIDO’s project also engages volunteers in the monitoring of the natural integrity of Fraser Island. A project to assess the environmental impacts of sediments being washed off the roads is now being developed and refined in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast.

John and Sue receiving their certificate of appreciation, and a nice bottle of Shiraz

John and Sue receiving their certificate of appreciation, and a nice bottle of Shiraz

John and Su will continue to be involved in maintaining the natural integrity of Fraser Island, however Maree Prior from Cooloola Coastcare will be taking the central role in leading the groups of volunteers in the future.

Thank you to John and Su for your tireless contribution over many years.

Kath Nash, BMRG

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