Time to Grow – a New Initiative for Increased Restoration in the Daintree

 In Conservation, News, Partnerships, Restoration, Tree Planting

Partners in RestorationTime to Grow – a New Initiative for Increased Restoration in the Daintree

Where to start? Let’s start in the here and now. Rainforest Rescue has embarked on a bold new project that will increase the number of local, endemic, genetically diverse and appropriate rainforest trees by as much as 500% for the region.

That means that we’ll be boosting our capacity from about 12,000 trees per year to, eventually, 150,000 trees per year. That’s an increase of 1150%. That’s inspiring!

Now, why would we want to do that?

Because we believe that Trees are the Answer to many of the problems that we’re facing. The climate is changing – sequester more carbon. The Daintree has been reduced through agriculture and grazing and development over the years – let’s expand it. Habitat loss is one of the main drivers behind species loss – let’s create more habitat. Annually there are perhaps 30,000 trees available in the Daintree region to be put towards restoration and that’s not enough – let’s propagate more trees!

In each of the above cases, trees make the difference – trees are the difference.

Firewheel as template

The nursery that was gifted to us 11 years ago by the Cassowary Recovery Team has been and continues to be a productive tree producer – with it we’ve managed to restore Lot 46 and its 28 hectares and have completed half of the 15 hectares that make up NightWings.

But the climate crisis continues to escalate and external forces that threaten the Daintree continue to grow. To address those issues we are committed to growing more trees than ever before in the region – and to do that, we’re designing a large-capacity nursery that is based on Mark Dunphy’s high capacity nursery in sub-tropical New South Wales. Mark is working with us to ensure that the template is adapted for the location and the environment.

And in addition to that, we’ve secured a location thanks to our partnership with Queensland Trust for Nature (QTFN), who we worked with to facilitate the purchase of Lot 83 at the Gateway to the Daintree. Its almost 1000 acres has 200+ acres that back onto the National Park and will be our first restoration project beyond NightWings. (Read more about that here.)

I just came back from Lot 83 and our current nursery. I spent days with QTFN as well as with Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation. The three organisations are poised to work together to regenerate significant portions of degraded areas of the Daintree. First Lot 83, and then I looked at two other potential restoration opportunities that would add several hundred more acres of rainforest regeneration.Nursery Concept Artwork Lot 83

It was inspiring! Not only from the point of view of what’s possible – that’s truly exciting. Imagine when we are counting the number of trees in the millions?

It was also inspiring to see working relationships developing. To see how these three groups bring our various skills and experience and capacity together to plot a new course – and one that is very much supported by Council – is unique and gives me real hope.

When I look at some of the areas that are denuded from cattle ranching, when I see areas that have been cleared for agriculture…I see how it would look restored to rainforest again. And this is a way of seeing that is common to this partnership.

Ahead we have much do to, but its already been set in motion. From the rescue of Lot 83 and QTFN’s plan for a long-term nursery footprint for Rainforest Rescue to the people stepping forward to help make it real – from project management to planning to irrigation design to grants of financial support and donations and more – we’re on a wonderful new path that will complement our ongoing property buyback and rescue program as part of what makes Rainforest Rescue relevant in rainforest protection.

We are committed to this new project and I hope, as all of us at Rainforest Rescue do, that you’ll be part of it with us.

Trees are the Answer to restoration in the rainforests in the Far North – and Rainforest Rescue is up to the challenge, thanks to our supportive partnerships and thanks to you, our supporters.

You can learn more about this project and how you can support it here.

Time to Grow!

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