There are 119 Bushland reserves in the Ku-ring-gai local government area which are managed under the Bushland Reserves Plan of Management. This Plan was prepared by Council to meet the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993, Crown Lands Act 1989, and other relevant legislative requirements. It covers all bushland (natural areas) owned by or under the care, control and management of Ku-ring-gai Council.
View the Bushland Reserve Plan of Management 2013.pdf (pdf. 2MB)
Management of Council reserves includes creation and maintenance of tracks, trails and other built assets (such as signs) and bushfire hazard reduction works (asset protection zones and hazard reduction burning). Bush regeneration within the reserves include Bushcare (community volunteer program) and Council bush regeneration works within targeted bushland management sites, as well as vegetation management related to ecological burning programs.
Council is currently in the process of reviewing/creating individual site management plans for both Bushcare and targeted bushland management sites (see Step 2 below).
How we select and evaluate targeted bushland management sites
The need to effectively manage the bushland with limited resources led Council to develop the three-step process for bushland management. This process guides selection and evaluation of target bushland management sites and promotes transparency in the decision-making process.
In addition to improving bushland management outcomes in Ku-ring-gai, the three-step program of prioritisation, implementation and evaluation helps the community understand the status of local natural areas and the environmental challenges they face.
Step 1 Prioritise
The bushland prioritisation matrix prioritises bushland reserves and guides resources, investment and decision making through non-arbitrary targets. A review of reserves under the bushland prioritisation matrix will be conducted biannually, to help inform management success and to assist in the identification of targeted bushland management sites and new values or threats.
Step 2 Create / implement
Council is currently developing and implementing site management plans for targeted reserves. These plans will provide detailed information regarding site values, management zones, action and monitoring.
Step 3 Evaluate
For each targeted bushland management site, Council undertakes annual monitoring of resilience, weeds and threats for each management zone identified within a site management plan.
This information feeds into the biannually bushland prioritisation matrix review and provides an annual bushland condition rating for each management zone, enabling an assessment of on ground management.
Bushland prioritisation matrix
Council has developed a bushland prioritisation matrix to guide investment in Council’s bushland management program as part of the bushland plan of management. The matrix provides an improved understanding of the values of each reserve and the extent of site impacts and pressures that need to be addressed in order to maintain those values. Ku-ring-gai’s 119 bushland reserves have been rated based on a number of criteria:
- the significance of the vegetation community/species within the reserve,
- the resilience of the reserve, and
- the site impacts (or threats) occurring within the reserve.
In addition to the 119 reserves, specific management sites within five of Council’s bushland reserves (Ku-ring-gai Creek, Cowan Creek, Old She Oak, Lovers Jump Creek and Blackbutt Creek) were also assessed due to variations between reserve values and required management.
Those reserves that received the highest ranking (highest value/lowest threats) have been prioritised for funding within the available budget.
A review of reserves under the bushland prioritisation matrix will be conducted biannually, to help inform management success and to assist in the identification of targeted bushland management sites and new values or threats.
View the ratings of Ku-ring-gai’s bushland reserves for 2015-2017 using the bushland prioritisation matrix. (pdf. 260KB)
View the bushland prioritisation matrix rating methodology. (pdf. 216KB)