The Pine Tree Project

08 May 2019 19:35 - 08 May 2019 19:59 #75006 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Hi all

Our next scheduled pine eradication hike will be on the 31 May, to 2nd June.

Work will be in the Stable Cave/Makhulumane area, where we are making good progress.
As always, work is at you own pace, with no pressure..

Safe parking arranged at Drak Gardens hotel.

If you would like to be involved and give something back to our beautiful 'Berg, please contact me..

Looking forward to hearing from you

Papa D
Last edit: 08 May 2019 19:59 by Papa Dragon.

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09 May 2019 10:29 #75009 by Dave
Replied by Dave on topic The Pine Tree Project

intrepid wrote: Thanks for posting Dave.

The ones in the Hlatikhulu/Sterkspruit are a pretty bad infestation, with some substantial, dense clusters. As VE we only did a little bit of work on those, in a small area which we called "Hlatikhulu South Slope" ...


Thanks for the background, Intrepid. I did recall that work had been done in the upper Mhlwazini; there is still a large dead pine amongst the juveniles.

I noticed that two lone pines on one of the western Hlatikhulu south slopes (not pictured) have been ring-barked, but the dense clusters look untouched. These are on quite steep slopes, so access is difficult, but the clusters beneath Sterkhorn are easier. I'll bear these in mind for the next time I'm in the area.

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10 May 2019 10:34 #75011 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic The Pine Tree Project
Maybe this is known, but I was concerned to see the increase in pines in the valley just north of Marble Baths in Injisuthi. You walk through a dense young pine forest on the path from Grindstone to Marble Baths. The pines are easily accessible in the river bed. Wish I had something with me...

Thanks to everyone helping with this - as soon as I can, I will join you!

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10 May 2019 16:21 #75012 by Macc
Replied by Macc on topic The Pine Tree Project
You are right to be concerned Herman. There are massive outcrops in Injusuti, Monk's and Cathedral Peak areas and we are losing the battle against them. We need a lot more teams to try get ahead of them.

"The three rules of mountaineering: It’s always further, taller and harder than it looks."
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10 May 2019 19:30 #75014 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic The Pine Tree Project
I recently learned that Working for Water has a Land User Incentive fund that can be used to pay contractors to do the work, since they don't have enough teams. I'm going to find out about it for the Magalies (where we also do a lot of work on invasives). My experience with WfW and contractors is not very positive, but under supervision it may help; girdling pine is relatively easy to check. If the funds are accessible, we must use it in the Drakensberg as well. If someone else has experience with applying for that funding, please let me know.
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10 May 2019 20:05 #75015 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Macc is 100 % correct. I am always left with bittersweet feelings after our pine eradication hikes. We have seen amazing progress in the areas we have worked in, but overall it is a small area of the wilderness.

With a few more teams to tackle some of the other areas, I know we can and will get on top of this problem. Please consider volunteering, totally at your own pace. We try to do 4 work hikes per year, but even if someone saw fit to to take 1 more hike in a different area, that would be a great start.

We all get something out of our 'Berg. let's put something back.

Our Pine Busters whatsapp group has 23 member, some of whom have not been on a work hike, obviously due to circumstance. That's far less tha 1% of the membership of this forum, by a way (+-3200 members). We usually have 8 to 10 hikers/workers on a work hike... imagine if just 7% of this forum's membership got involved. We would clear, not just contain, this problem pretty quickly.

Kudos to the likes of diverian and Wendywoo, Richard S, and Dave, who incorporate their eradication work with leisure time, I'm sure there are others too.. thanks guys..

Think about it..
Papa D
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10 May 2019 20:10 #75016 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project

Herman wrote: I recently learned that Working for Water has a Land User Incentive fund that can be used to pay contractors to do the work, since they don't have enough teams. I'm going to find out about it for the Magalies (where we also do a lot of work on invasives). My experience with WfW and contractors is not very positive, but under supervision it may help; girdling pine is relatively easy to check. If the funds are accessible, we must use it in the Drakensberg as well. If someone else has experience with applying for that funding, please let me know.


Thanks Herman

Please keep us posted on any info you get

Shot
Papa D

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12 May 2019 12:07 - 12 May 2019 12:22 #75021 by Herman
Replied by Herman on topic The Pine Tree Project
@Papa Dragon, do you have an estimate of the number of pines in Cathedral / Monks Cowl / Injisuthi area?

I agree completely that if you want to enjoy the mountains, you should take some responsibility for conserving them, and it is often frustrating to the ones that do so that they are so few. That said, practically speaking we see only slightly better figures than those mentioned here, for the MCSA in the Magalies. But members have been willing to give money to get it done, and that has proven very effective, as well as giving gainful employment to some great people. Not first prize, because then members have an excuse to be complacent. But we achieve the result and help some people in the process.

What I'm driving at is this: too few people are going to go out to check the pine in the Berg, whether we like it or not. But more people would be willing to donate money to a fund (e.g. on ADDaBIT). The WfW fund would be a bonus, but the chances are slim. If we put a "bounty" on every pine verified as girdled - say R50 for large ones and R20 for small ones, then I'm pretty sure the easy ones and large stands will be eradicated fairly quickly by local people, leaving us to do the rest. It costs me about R1000 to get to the Berg and back. I'm willing to donate at least the cost of 1 Berg trip per year, and maybe some others are as well. If we situate the fund in the right way it can also be tax deductible and count towards BEE points etc, making it an attractive CSR proposition for companies. But that would be more paperwork.

Your thoughts?
Last edit: 12 May 2019 12:22 by Herman. Reason: clarification
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03 Jun 2019 21:57 #75043 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Herman,
 Thanks for your input, I will respond shortly..

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03 Jun 2019 22:20 #75044 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Hi all

Due to the relocation of a key member of our small Pine Busters team, we have the following vacancy:

Post description: Scribe and messenger

Duties: Accurate recording of numer of trees felled, pics, GPS co-ordinates, sizes etc. Compile these into a report of sorts. Ability to hike with a pack a necessity.(not strenuous hectic hiking).

Working Hours: 3 consecutive days per quarter, must be available from a Fridayto Sunday.

Remuneration: Free accommodation in a cave, amazing views, awesome camaraderie, contribution to a great cause..

Ok guys, so we need some who can help us out here..
We hike about 4 times a year, from Friday to Sunday,
Would need to take notes of the above.
Not hugely strenuous walk-ins..

Please

PM me if keen..
Thanks

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