Rearguard action in lily war
Nature Conservation says land owners need to join a co-ordinated program to manage the spread of arum lilies in the region, despite the State Government throwing in the towel.
Last month, the Times reported on the State Government’s acknowledgment the battle to rid WA of the plant was lost because eradication was not feasible.
Nature Conservation’s Genevieve Hanran-Smith instead argued the importance of sustained weed management to protect the “unique and beautiful” biodiversity of the Capes region.
She said Nature Conservation was working to manage the arum lily in a strategic way by identifying key target areas and undertaking control in partnership with all landholders.
“The arum lily is an easy plant to kill but it is difficult to control across the landscape unless everyone does their bit and controls them on their property,” she said
“The control needs to be concerted and sustained over time to be successful.”
Since 2012, more than 325 landholders have joined the co-ordinated arum lily control program, covering about 3500ha.
Brock Murray, who manages several properties involved in the co-ordinated arum lily control program, said stopping the weed’s spread seemed unfathomable to some but he had seen some “amazing” changes.
“From what I’ve seen, they’re making a pretty good impact,” he said.
“But it’s a matter of keeping it under control.”
Contractor Rick Ensley said arum lilies were the main threat to the region’s biodiversity because of the weed’s vitality, but the problem could be reduced if landowners were on board.
“The target areas around Margaret River are in much better shape now than they were five years ago,” he said.
“Once we have larger non-seed dispersing areas, that’s when you’re on a win.”
Ms Hanran-Smith encouraged landholders in target areas including Calgardup, Redgate, the Margaret River catchment, Cowaramup and Wilyabrup to join the program.
She said some landholders opted to undertake their own spraying but other landholders shared the cost with Nature Conservation through funding from State and Federal government, Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and Main Roads.
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