From Doug Humann, Bush Heritage Chief Executive Officer: Autumn 2011
In most parts of Australia, 274 mm of rain is not a bad total for six months. At Ethabuka and Cravens Peak reserves, this amount exceeds the annual average rainfall of about 200 mm.
Doug Humann, Bush Heritage CEO. Photo: becwalton.com.au
But on 27 December, I was astonished to learn that Bush Heritage's Carnarvon Station Reserve saw, heard and felt 274 mm in just one day. This incredible event set a new record on that day for the property and for Queensland.
Cathy Zwick, our Field Officer at Carnarvon was alone on the reserve with her dog, and described to me the sound of water roaring down the creeks, and trees crashing down from the force of the water.
Over the coming weeks, news reports told us that Cathy was just one among many Australians who endured difficult, and sometimes heartbreaking, times in early 2011.
Although we can gladly report that Cathy and all our staff are safe, we know others have not been so lucky. I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to any of our supporters, and all Australians, affected by these devastating floods, and by Cyclone Yasi, which also affected our Yourka Reserve as you'll see on page six.
To those of you who have lost friends or family members, I offer my sincere condolences. All of us at Bush Heritage are thinking of those who have lost property, possessions, livestock and pets.
We wish you all the very best with the clean-up and recovery process. On some of our reserves, there is also much clean-up work to be done. At Carnarvon and Yourka, we won't know the extent of the damage until the water recedes and our staff can return to the properties, but we do know there will be erosion damage, trees uprooted, and some animals will have perished.
Other reserves across the country have also been affected by flooding, including Eurardy in WA; Yourka, Reedy Creek and Edgbaston reserves in Qld; Boolcoomatta Reserve in SA; and Liffey Valley Reserves in Tasmania.
However, the news is not all bad. The rains have replenished water sources, and the benefits will flow up through the food chain. Of course, when conditions are good for native plant species, weeds will also thrive, so we have much work to do. But with so many Australians facing challenges, Bush Heritage also has so much to be thankful for, especially your wonderful and ongoing support.
Doug Humann, CEO