Committed to assisting landowners affected by the 2017/2018 Knysna/ Plettenberg Bay wildfire disaster, the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) conducted a half-day workshop on the control and eradication of invasive alien plants in Brenton-on-Sea just days before the national lockdown.
Cobus Meiring, chairperson of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) says the changing landscape poses new challenges to landowners in the region.
“In the aftermath of the wildfire disasters, many landowners missed a golden opportunity to curb the spread of invasive alien plants on their properties when species such as Rooikrans, Black Wattle and Blue Gum were small and sprouting, and they were able to make use of foliar spray as a most effective method to address regrowth.”
A changing landscape poses new challenges to landowners
“Invasive alien plants have, since the 2017 fires, grown to heights of well over five meters tall, implying that a cost-effective foliar spray is no longer an option for landowners. As soon as invasive plants are above shoulder height, it is no longer advisable nor feasible to make use of foliar spray as an eradication method in curbing spread and growth,” says Meiring.
Almost three years down the line, landowners overwhelmed by invasive plant regrowth now will have to cut down invasive alien trees and treat the stumps with appropriate herbicide types in order to prevent regrowth and resprouting.
An Invasive Alien Plant Control plan is the answer as authorities act against non-compliance
In a determined effort to prevent a recurrence of the 2017 wildfire disaster, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), is issuing non-compliant landowners with pre-directives as well as punitive directives, which have far-reaching and costly consequences.
As part of an ongoing programme to assist landowners in the 2017/ 18 burn scars, SCLI is assisting landowners by drawing up Invasive Alien Control Plans for them, as well as by providing appropriate herbicide, advice and assistance.
Landowners in need of assistance can visit the SCLI website for more information or contact the SCLI Secretariat. WEBSITE: http://www.scli.org.za
Photo: Presenters at the SCLI Workshop: The presenters at the SCLI Invasive Alien Plant Workshop for Landowners were: (from left to right) Cobus Meiring, chairperson of SCLI; Pamela Booth, Manager: Environmental Planning at Knysna Municipality; Carl Stoltsz, technical advisor at Herbcon Services and (at the back) Paul Buchholz, Environmental Practitioner, SCLI. (Photo: Chris Jooste)
** The Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) is a public platform and think tank for landowners and land managers with an interest in invasive alien plant management, water stewardship and land management. SCLI is supported by the Table Mountain Fund (TMF), a subsidiary of WWF SA. SCLI also manages the Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).