Landowner to repair environmental damage
17 May 2011
A departmental investigation found that Douglas Edward Rutledge had allowed the clearing of an endangered ecological community protected under national environment law at Warren in the NSW Central West.
About 30 hectares of the endangered ecological community, known as Weeping Myall Woodlands, was disturbed. Trees were pushed over and stacked into piles, removing the tree canopy and potentially spreading weeds through the site.
In a cooperative effort between the federal and New South Wales environment departments, the clearing was halted before the ecological community was damaged beyond repair. The department took this circumstance into account in recommending that the landowner be responsible for repairing the damage caused to the ecological community.
The Remediation Determination issued by the department requires Mr Rutledge to manage the area and help natural regeneration of the ecological community. Management actions include excluding domestic stock from the area, controlling weeds and feral animals at the site, and conducting ongoing monitoring and reporting.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have also issued penalty notices of $3300 each to Mr Rutledge and the contractor who undertook the clearing.