Human survival in bushland has a whole mythology evolving around it, with the legendary stories of Aboriginal trackers and bushrangers deeply entrenched in Australian folklore. Bushland has been a traditional source of wood for fuel and bushfood.
Bushland provides a number of ecosystem services including the protection of water quality, stopping erosion, acting as a windbreak, and trapping nutrients. Bushland is prone to bushfires. This presents a challenge to authorities as infrastructure and habitations encroach into bushland areas.
Until recently Australia had a very high rate of land clearing which resulted in the destruction of bushland. Since 2006 the rate of land clearing has declined significantly. This is partially attributed to legislation which placed a ban on broadscale clearing of mature bushland in Queensland in 2006 and an expansion of those bans to regrowing bushland with a high conservation value in 2009. In New South Wales bushfires cause the greatest destruction of bushland, followed by land clearing for crops, grazing, road and buildings.
Bushland preservation has become the focus of some conservation efforts. In Brisbane, the Brisbane City Council has established a Bushland Acquisition Program which is funded by a small levy paid by rate-payers. The program began in 1990 and aims to protect koala habitat from urban development. It is estimate that the koala population in the area has declined from 6,240 in 1996 to 1,500 in 2012.[clarification needed]
- Dictionary for Managing Trees in Urban Environments. Csiro Publishing. 2009. p. 23. ISBN 0643096078. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Batello, Caterina; Adamou Harouna Touré; Peter Ervin Kenmore (2004). The Future is an Ancient Lake: Traditional Knowledge, Biodiversity and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in Lake Chad Basin Ecosystems. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 166. ISBN 9251050643. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "Fact Sheet 7: Managing our Bushland" (PDF). Lake Macquarie City Council. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Bowman, David (2003). "Bushfires: A Darwinian Perspective". In Geoffrey, Cary; Lindenmayer, David; Dovers, Stephen. Australia Burning: Fire Ecology, Policy and Management Issues. Csiro Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 0643098542. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "Bushland On Life Support". Media Release. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and Australian National Herbarium. 4 November 2002. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Taylor, Martin (2013). WWF Bushland at risk of renewed clearing in Queensland 2013 (PDF). WWF-Australia. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-921031-48-9. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Ben Cubby (21 December 2011). "Loggers are clearing bushland at rising rate". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "Bushland Preservation Levy". Brisbane City Council. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Liam Parsons (13 September 2011). "Vital bushland acquisition by BCC". Southern Star (Quest Newspapers). Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Tony Moore (15 March 2012). "Conservation group claims koala numbers fudged". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 6 October 2013.