Just over a year ago media reports indicated the Blue Gum Forest of the Grose Valley was “hanging in the balance” because of a wildfire made “more intense, unpredictable and extensive by massive backburning operations”.
I trekked into the forest today and was surprised and pleased to see a beautiful forest with little evidence of fire damage.
The Blue Gum Forest, Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia, February 3, 2008. Looking to the south-east.
The Blue Gum Forest, Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia, February 3, 2008. Looking to the north-west.
The Blue Gum Forest, Grose Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia, February 3, 2008. At junction of Grose River and Govett Creek, looking to the north.
As I struggled up the steep escarpment on my way out of the valley, I passed a couple descending into the valley and I asked if they were planning to visit the Blue Gum Forest.
“Yes,” replied the women, “At least what is left of it”.
Like me, and so many Australians, she believed the media reports that the forest had been badly damaged. As we passed I suggested she would be pleasantly surprised by what she saw.
Why has reporting in the popular press been so negative? Was the state of this iconic forest misrepresented as part of a wider campaign against back-burning?
Additional Notes and Links
Link to picture of burnt forest in Sydney Morning Herald:
Link to earlier blog post with a question from Bill in Melbourne about the state of the forest:
The Blue Gums in the Grose Valley are Mountain Blue Gums Eucalyptus deanii, here are some links to the more common Tasmanian Blue Gum, Eucalptus globulus: