Some of you will remember the time a few years ago, when contractors working on a roadside used a grassland as a worksite, squashed a few legless lizards and all hell seemed to break loose. For many of us while this was a very depressing incident it was the wake up call that was needed and it had a big impact.
The ramifications worked their way through many councils and other organisations and suddenly there was unprecedented and renewed interest in grasslands and grass was no longer just grass.
Many meetings were held to help people recognize endangered grasslands and understand their value and importance as habitat for a range of species and the responsibility of managing these areas. Training and procedures where improved and just about everyone knew a certain federal officer by his first name as he spent so much time on the Victorian Volcanic Plains.
This week emails are doing the rounds highlighting inappropriate actions on roadsides. In the scheme of things people may say that this is a small insignificant incident. There are comments such as ‘need to improve protocols’, ‘lack of resources’ and many more that we have all heard before.
Have we dropped the ball? It doesn’t take long for complacency to creep in and for us to stop seeing the signs.
We are fortunate that we have people, who despite all the past incidents, knock-backs and dismissive responses, still feel passionate about grassy ecosystems. Without them grasslands would have already disappeared. Keep up the good work because we can’t afford to lose anymore grasslands and every little bit counts.