History

By various accounts, Rubicon has been owned by several people in living memory. There is evidence of some cattle grazing, at least from weed infestations around trees that have probably been used for shade. Also, there have been attempts to drain wetter areas and "improve" some areas by sowing grass seed. However, there has been no systematic attempt to remove native vegetation and replace it with pasture.

The previous owners purchased the Land in 1984 and built a shed to house their tractor and slasher.  Shortly after purchase, neighbours were invited to cut as much fallen timber as they wanted for firewood and what remained was bulldozed into piles and burnt.  After this “tidy up”, the understorey on the block was slashed during summer and burned during the autumn. This management cycle was generally conducted on a biennial basis, although occasionally the block was slashed and left for a year before burning.

During the 1980s and 90s. the property became known to native orchid lovers in Tasmania, probably because the regular disturbance enhanced orchid flowering. Peter Tonelli was the local expert and advocate, with some collections at this time being attributed to "Pete's swamp". Several species of orchid were known to be uncommon, and one species, the marsh leek orchid, was known only from the property.

Because of the orchids, Peter was instrumental in gaining protection for the property when it came onto the market in the early 2000s. Rubicon was the first conservation property bought by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) as part of its new revolving fund scheme in 2004. In honour of a financial contributor to the TLC, the property was then known as "Dorothy Reeves Reserve". We purchased the property from the TLC in 2007 and we have owned and managed it ourselves ever since.

scene from house

 

Images from 2006 to 2008 show the property with a very open understory that is barely recognisable today. This image to the left was taken from a cherry picker in February 2008. The image below is a Google Earth image taken in August 2006.

 

 

Disturbance map 2015
Image © 2016 Digital Globe