Restoring Tinana Yards
The riparian corridor along Tinana Creek, an eastern tributary of the Mary River, supports significant biodiversity this includes endangered ecological communities and several threatened species. HQPlantations, a large land manager within the catchment was looking to maintain and enhance this biodiversity as part of its commitment to forest stewardship.
With the support of two grants totalling $105,000 from the Australian Government’s Reef System Repair Programme and the Queensland Governments Wetlands Programme, HQPlanations commenced work in late 2016 on a large-scale ecological restoration project along a stretch of Tinana Creek on State Forest at a site known locally as Tinana Yards, 8 km west of the Toolara Forest Station.
The project area covers 82 hectares of riparian vegetation, billabongs and pine plantations. The aim of the project is to restore disturbed or cleared areas (30 hectares) and create a self-sustaining, resilient ecosystem that reflects the nearby existing undisturbed reference ecosystems. This is being achieved predominantly by planting local species and by encouraging natural regrowth.
Planning & Implementation
An ecological restoration plan was prepared that included vegetation types that would have occurred there before. These include:
- Gympie Messmate/Pink Bloodwood open forest on the upper slopes
- Pink Bloodwood/Grey Ironbark/Forest Red Gum open forest on the mid slopes
- Forest Red Gum open forests on the alluvial flats
- Paperbark forest fringing the billabongs
- Riparian rainforest/Flooded Gum emergent along the Tinana Creek riparian corridor
The rehabilitation strategies used included:
- Broadscale slashing of rank pasture grasses and weeds and dozer pushing of small outcrops of dense pine wildlings
- Targeted boom spraying of invasive weeds such as Giant Rats Tail & Groundsel Bush
- Strip cultivation along some of the flats and lower slopes
- Ripping on contour on some upper slopes
- Pre-plant strip spraying along pegged tree lines
- Planting at an average stocking of 830 stems per hectare
- Poisoning of larger pine trees and camphor laurels
- Numerous follow-up post plant weed control
Seedling Supply & Planting
Where possible local provenance seed was collected from within or near the project site and seedlings raised at HQP’s Toolara Nursery. Where local seed was not available, seedlings were purchased from community or Landcare Nurseries.
It is estimated that to date over 25,000 seedlings have been planted and the area revegetated exceeds 35 hectares
HQP is committed to ensuring at least 30% of their managed sites remain natural habitat or natural habitat is restored.
Tanana Yards is an excellent example of what can be achieved if big business and not-for-profit organisations work together to restore the natural ecosystem