Development of Barmah Wetland Monitoring Program - M/BUS/90
MDFRC Technical Report
Part B of 2 part report (see Barmah Wetland System Environmental Monitoring Program Part A: Background Information)
Purpose, position and scope of this study. The purpose of this study is to develop a comprehensive and flexible environmental monitoring program for the Barmah wetland system that incorporates adaptive management principles and meets current policy and management requirements. A broad range of policies, plans, strategies, agreements and legislation control or influence the management of Barmah Forest (McCarthy et al., 2005) and identify a requirement to monitor various aspects of the ecology of Barmah Forest. It is considered that current environmental monitoring at Barmah Forest does not adequately meet these requirements (Consultancy Brief). Currently, the lack of long-term consistently collected data is the single greatest limitation in allowing the assessment of ecological objectives outlined in the various policies, plans, strategies, agreements and pieces of legislation that govern or influence the management of Barmah Forest. The overarching goal of this study is to develop a sound and consistent ongoing monitoring program that, when implemented, provides the information necessary to evaluate the ecological targets detailed in this report and potentially also the various objectives previously identified (McCarthy et al., 2005). The Terms of Reference of the Consultancy Brief detail five tasks to develop the monitoring program (Appendix A). This report is an advisory document to the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. It is intended to inform the Victorian Government’s contribution to the development of an environmental monitoring program in future reviews of the Barmah-Millewa Significant Ecological Asset: Asset Environmental Management Plan (MDBC, 2005). It will also inform the development of an updated Water Management Plan for Barmah Forest. The broad scope of the environmental monitoring program is to relate strongly to water management. The monitoring of activities such as logging is considered outside the scope of the monitoring program. Report structure - the Barmah Wetland System Environmental Monitoring Program consists of two stand-alone documents. Part A provides background information relating to environmental objectives and targets determined for Barmah Forest through the various policies, plans, strategies, agreements and pieces of legislation that govern or influence its management. It also reviews past and current monitoring programs at Barmah Forest (McCarthy et al., 2005). Part B (this document) builds upon the information of Part A and details an ongoing environmental monitoring program for the Barmah wetland system.