What is the Native Vegetation Mapping Project?
This exciting new project will:
- Create a new, fine scale vegetation map across all land in the Shire;
- More accurately identify endangered ecological communities;
- Create an integrated native vegetation resource; and
- Establish how the map will be maintained and improved into the future.
Why is This Project Important?
Native vegetation provides us with many values including:
- Habitat for native plants and animals, many of which are endangered;
- Supporting farmers by providing shelter for stock and protecting soil;
- Providing sustainable timber resources; and
- Clean air and water.
But not all native vegetation is the same. There are many different types across the landscape made up of many different native species all growing in response to different soil types, varying rainfall and positions in the landscape. Some vegetation types are common, other are rare and endangered.
Understanding what types of vegetation we have, mapping where it is located and calculating how much is remaining is essential for activities such as land use planning, environmental management, impact assessment and bushfire planning and hazard reduction.
The last detailed vegetation map of the Wingecarribee Shire was produced in 2003 as part of Councils Biodiversity Strategy
. It now requires a major update to improve its accuracy.
The new native vegetation map will be freely available to the public and will create an integrated native vegetation information resource - the first of its kind in NSW. The map is also needed to enable the creation of the Wingecarribee Green Web strategy.
The final draft (version 2.1) of the new Native Vegetation Map was received by Council on 06 July 2017.
The new map marks a significant departure from previous map projects and is now aligned to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Statewide Vegetation Type Map and associated regulatory tools being developed in NSW. You can find out more about OEH vegetation mapping on this website.
Vegetation classification is now based on the use of standardised Plant Community Types (PCTs). Council recognises that many current and potential users of the new native vegetation map may not be familiar with PCT's and therefore it is essential that supporting guidelines and information are developed and deployed with the new native vegetation map to assist users. Council is currently working on these materials and will release these over the coming months.
A helpful guide to frequently asked questions about PCTs can be found here.
Where to from here?
A major review of the PCTs along the east coast of NSW is currently being completed by OEH, the first stage which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. It is expected that many PCTs will change as a result of this review.
The current final draft native vegetation map for Wingecarribee Shire (v2.1) will be reviewed and updated in early 2018 to produce the final map (v3.0) in late 2019. These products will publicly available.
Ian Perkins, Natural Resource Projects Coordinator
Telephone: 02 4868 0750