Adam Marshall MP, Member for Northern Tablelands, Minister for Tourism and Major Events and Assistant Minister for Skills officially announced this morning that Z-NET Uralla had scored the significant NSW Environmental Trust Funding.
The collection and use of firewood is a common practice in the Uralla Community with over 75% of our homes using firewood for winter heating. Firewood is a valuable source of energy and is renewable, if harvested in a sustainable manner.
Our new project, “Elephant in the Woodlands” will raise awareness and encourage sustainable practices amongst landholders, firewood collectors and firewood users to ensure firewood is a renewable resource for future generations. The project will run for three years, supported by a NSW Environmental Trust Education Grant, private donations and Z-NET Uralla volunteers.
Project partners are BackTrack AgLads, Uralla Shire Council, SNELC, NT LLS and Scientists from UNE, plus three local landholders (Balala Station, Lana and Barrakee) who will help demonstrate how biodiversity assessments can be done to identify low impact firewood sites.
Our goal is to enable Uralla Shire residents to source their firewood, in the knowledge that it is being collected in a way that has a low ecological impact. Training programs will be provided to landholders and firewood collectors to enable them to tap into the market for sustainable firewood. The project will also support and extend existing community-based programs for improving home thermal efficiency, reducing energy demand in the first place and promoting effective firewood storage and use.
These goals will be supported by an ongoing education campaign through media, at community events and in schools to raise awareness of the ecological value and importance of standing and fallen timber and promote the use of sustainable firewood.