A significant conservation outcome for the Daintree Rainforest has occurred as roads associated with a failed rural residential subdivision begin to be closed. Reversing the impacts of development has been a long-held vision for Kelvin Davies, an advocate for the conservation of the area.
Over 50 km of roads were constructed in the 1980’s as part of an 1,100-lot rural residential subdivision crisscross the Daintree Lowland Rainforest in Far North Queensland. Now 30 years after the declaration of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that excluded most of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest from protection, the closing and revegetating of some of these roads is occurring.
The purchase of rainforest properties for conservation has allowed the Douglas Shire Council to identify five service roads in Cow Bay that are now obsolete. On the 18th of November 2018, Kelvin Davies of Rainforest 4 joined with our project partners, Daintree Life to revegetate a service road off Cape Tribulation Road in Cow Bay, located between Tulip Road and Maple Road. A total of 1,048 trees were planted by twenty-five volunteers to permanently close this section of road.
Reversing the impacts of development has been a long-held vision for Kelvin Davies, an advocate for the conservation of the area whose efforts of the past twenty years have seen forty properties purchased and protected for conservation.
“When I first visited the Daintree in 1990, I was shocked to see hundreds of real estate signs offering rainforest for housing development”. Said Kelvin.
“The subdivision has been a disaster and these roads should never have been built. They have fragmented and degraded the most biodiverse rainforest in Australia”, he said.
The closing of roads is seen a significant milestone in the long struggle by conservationists to prevent development of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, a place many Australian’s believe is protected in a national park. These roads can be closed as the properties they serviced have been purchased through Daintree land buyback schemes that commenced in 1993.
To close the five roads we need to raise a total of $49,900 to plant and maintain a total of 4,990 trees. Each $10 donated plants a tree. Please make a tax-deductible donation here.
The closing of roads in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest and the planting of trees will restore habitat for threatened species including Cassowaries and Bennetts Tree-kangaroos. The community will benefit from reduced road maintenance costs for Douglas Shire Council and improved amenity for tourists who expect to see rainforest and wildlife rather than roads.
The work to revegetate the roads is being undertaken by Daintree Life with the support of the Rainforest 4. Together they are working on a larger project to plant 500,000 trees in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest to repair areas cleared in past decades.
For more information and to make a donation please go to the Road Closure to Save the Daintree Rainforest page.