NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Environment Australia, June 2001
ISBN 0 7313 62829
Appendix 5 details the Site Assessment Guidelines that will be undertaken by NPWS each year. The site assessment will indicate whether prescribed burning is appropriate or in fact desirable for any particular habitat.
Prescribed burning may be appropriate when site assessment indicates.
- dense regeneration of overstorey components are shading habitat:
- Blackthorn is being excluded or suppressed by shrub competition;
- Blackthorn within sites is represented by predominantly mature individuals with mature foliage which indicates the plants are senescing;
- fuels within the site have been identified as a risk to adjacent property.
Where prescribed burning is being proposed the following guidelines will apply:
- The site assessments must be carried out by the NPWS in the seasons immediately prior and post fire to assess the response;
- The site descriptions must have been completed by NPWS so that the extent of habitat actually utilised by butterfly within sites is known and mapped;
- Only a proportion (<50 %) of any single site should be treated in any one year.
- An interval of at least five years should be left before treating the remaining unburnt habitat and; Site assessment must record recovery in burnt habitat before adjacent areas are also treated;
- Prescribed burning should only be undertaken between March and June;
- Proponents need to apply the Eight-part test when assessing the possible impact of the activity.
Where prescribed burning is being proposed primarily to reduce fuels, consideration should be given to excluding butterfly habitat from the operation. The small areas of habitat that exist should not constitute undue hazard to adjacent lands.
During a wildfire event, known habitat areas of the Bathurst Copper Butterfly should be excluded from backburning operations, or fireline construction where possible. Where backburning operations cannot be avoided then the amount of habitat treated should be minimised. The use of retardants within known sites of Bathurst Copper Butterfly should be avoided.