Bald Head at Cellito Beach is a prominent and significant natural landform which has Aboriginal cultural heritage significance. It contains areas of endangered ecological communities (EEC), namely Littoral Rainforests and Themeda grasslands on coastal headlands, however on the headland the latter was being overcome with the invasive Littoral Shrub.
Kleinfelder was contracted by the Mid Coast Council (MCC) to provide pre- & post-vegetation monitoring, an environmental burn plan, stakeholder coordination, and project management to remove the invading shrub. Kleinfelder determined that an ecological burn would be the most effective method to removing the invasive species, while facilitating the survival and growth of the fire-dependent Themeda. Cultural sensitivity was of utmost importance throughout the project, as it had been recognised that pre-European (Aboriginal) fire management had been precluded from the Bald Head headland.
Kleinfelder Bushfire Planners developed a Prescribed Burn Plan that included input from the local Aboriginal community, Council and Rural Fire Service. This plan identified the potential risks and mitigation actions while utilising traditional burning techniques, with Kleinfelder implementing and overseeing a low intensity cool burn of the area.
The burn commenced with paying respect to the indigenous Worimi people. Working closely with stakeholders, Kleinfelder successfully planned and conducted the one-hectare burn that removed the Littoral Shrub while providing the fire-dependent Themeda Grassland an area to flourish on the sea cliffs. Kleinfelder ecologists continue to monitor the area with regards to the EEC responses post burn.