GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The 2017 fires in the Garden Route have caused agricultural havoc and two years down the line rural landowners still have to cope with what nature has forced upon them.
"Besides the loss of kilometres of expensive fences, underground and above-ground irrigation systems, and the destruction of crops and trees by the out-of-control wildfire, almost all landowners in the burn scar are confronted with aggressive invasive alien plant regrowth, which they simply cannot ignore," says Cobus Meiring of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI).
In 2018 many times more hectares of land were destroyed by wildfires all the way from Vermaaklikheid, Still Bay and either side of the Outeniqua Mountains.
Meiring emphasises the conservation value of an environment free of invasive alien plants.
As much as the suppression of invasive alien plant regrowth is critical if communities were to prevent a repeat of the fire disasters, so is recognising the conservation value of cultivating a high-quality environment free of invasive alien plants.
As part of the SCLI Cape Floristic Corridor Revival and Training Programme, funded by the Table Mountain Fund (TMF), the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative is offering to compile invasive alien plant control plans for private landowners along the Knysna, Goukamma, Touw, Kaaimans and Great Brak rivers. The invasive alien plant control plans are compiled according to a standard that is acceptable to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
The objective of these plans are twofold, namely to satisfy departmental officials that landowners are compliant in dealing with managing invasive alien plants on their land, and perhaps more importantly, to communicate to landowners along these river systems that they own the last of what remains of very precious conservation land.
Landowners who are interested in participating in the SCLI initiative can visit the SCLI website at www.scli.org.za or contact Cobus Meiring of SCLI directly on 083 626 7619 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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