This project is focused on engagement with Nature Refuge landholders to improve fire management across 5 Nature Refuges through the implementation of property level fire management plans, supporting on-ground implementation of the plan and providing support for attendance and training at an indigenous fire workshop.
The White Bellied sub-species of the Crimson Finch, Neochmia phaeton evangelinae, and the northern sub-species of the Star Finch, Noechnia ruficauda clarescens have been declining in the Kowanyama region over the last 10 years.
There is a Threatened Species Recovery Plan for these two species.
This project partnered with Mulong Pty Ltd to conduct a fire management workshop on Steve Irwin Wildlife Sanctuary (or other suitable location) over five days in July 2014. The project built on Indigenous fire knowledge into land management on Cape York and beyond. The project also supported the establishment of a steering committee for Indigenous fire knowledge holders.
This project involved fire, weed and feral animal management using integrated control techniques which complemented each other. The partnerships formed from the project will have lasting benefits for Gummi Junga by combining traditional knowledge with contemporary methods, and also legislative requirements for looking after country.
This project extended the coverage of traditional fire management practices across Cape York Peninsula, both during this activity and beyond the project timeframe. The project contributed to the Caring for Our Country target ' to expand traditional fire management regimes across at least 200 00 sq km's of northern Australian savannas by 2013.
Works focused on controlling six weed species with three Traditional Owner groups within three key environmental areas: the Trevethan Creek wildlife corridor site adjacent to the Northern Wet Tropics World Heritage Area; Aligator Creek, an endangered coastal wetland environment, including weeds of Waymbuurr country in Cooktown; and the Rainforest isolates adjacent to Mt Web National Park
This project is part of the Cape York NRM Sustainable Agriculture Project, and establishes a demonstration site focused on soil health, land condition, fire and water management, economic baselines and benchmarks.
It highlights the adoption of sustainable land management practices and establishes good practice for road construction and fencing on Yarraden Station.
Over 100 people meet in Cairns this week to discuss their fire management and carbon projects on Cape York. This included land managers from local government, cattle stations, Traditional Owner groups, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and representatives from the Rural Fire Service.
The 2016 Indigenous Fire Workshop was a huge success with over 130 people from across Australia attending.
Click here for ABC Far North's online coverage of the workshop.
ABC Rural reports that "Twenty-one graziers in the Cape York region of far north Queensland have secured $36 million, to conduct savannah burning projects, with the money coming just in time to pay down debts and prevent the hottest savannah fires".
The Balnggarrawarra Rangers from Melsonby station (70 minutes north east of Cooktown), know that good fire and soil management is essential for healthy Country.
DESPITE the massive effort expended in organising and running the workshop, Victor Steffensen is still pumped up at the close of each session.
Victor is director of Mulong Productions, a community film consultancy company based in Cairns.
“It was a fantastic workshop, it went really well,” Victor said.
It was not the first time Steve Wargent, the Ewamian Ranger Group in the Gulf of Carpentaria, had attended a fire workshop.
Steve Wargent participated in the Hann River workshop several years ago, and uncovered real value in returning for a second session.
“It’s a good opportunity to get different ideas and to meet other ranger groups,” he said.
A drive through the Cape York landscapes during the dry season exposes the devastaton of uncontrolled fires, an annual phenonmenon.
The 2014 Regional Investment Strategy meeting in Cooktown, saw Cape York land managers agree that fire remains the biggest challenge for the Cape york landscape.
Brothers Jack and George Manantan are members of the Taepithiggi clan, Traditional Owners of the Country where the 2014 Indigenous Fire Workshop was held at Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.
The love of country demonstrated by the workshop participants has touched the brothers.
“Just look – everyone here is so happy,” George said, on the final day of the workshop.
Dianne Nicholls is the Cultural Officer with the Land and Sea Office in Mapoon. She and Ronnie Guivarra were instrumental to the success of the 2014 Indigenous Fire Workshop and ensuring the Taepithiggi Traditional Owners cultural protocols were followed.
A fire management workshop was held at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, which is managed by rangers Barry and Shelley Lyon.
Shelley said it was fabulous to see people come from all over connect and share knowledge.
“This is a great venue for the workshop.
Fire is identified as the biggest issue for land managers across Cape York. Every year large, wildfires damage millions of hectares of country across the Cape, resulting in huge losses in grazing country; enabling soil erosion; decreasing biodiversity and releasing large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.
Mapoon's Land and Sea Rangers reported on valuable time spent at the 2014 Indigenous Fire Workshop held on Taepithiggi Country at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.
“I had an amazing time with knowledge that was learned and being around fun people," he said.
It’s incredible the knowledge they are all sharing.
Damian and Di Cullenward are farmers from Eugowra, Central NSW.
Damian grew up in the west of the state, and continues to spend time there as a farm contractor.
BRENDON attended the Hann River workshop in 2009, and broadened the knowlege gleaned form that experience, through attending the 2014 workshop.
Three years ago, traditional burning was reintroduced to the Lachlan catchment, New South Wales, by botanist, Dr Milton Lewis, community officer, Russell Hill, and Victor Steffenson, through a project with the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority.
By Peta Standley
A short film about the Cape York Natural Resource Management (NRM), successful fire workshop hosted last year at Kings Plains, is now uploaded at www. capeyorknrm.com.au.