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Issue 32: Caring for the Cape

The 2017 dry season has now fully kicked in across the region, with the topic of fire management growing.
Fire is undoubtedly one of the most important factors influencing the health of the country, economic viability, and the cultural values of Cape York.
Many Cape York Peninsula (CYP) communities are growing in size, receiving increasing numbers of visitors, and dealing with increasing marine debris washing up on their beaches. A Northern Hub project investigated municipal waste and marine debris management issues in three communities.
Freshwater rivers and creeks in northern Australia support incredible biodiversity and cultural values. However, these values are at threat because of land use change, including agricultural development, road construction, mining, grazing, along with water resource development.
In late 2015, Sharks And Rays Australia commenced a research project on the distribution and abundances of sawfish in Far North Queensland, the Cape York region and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Reducing the Economic and Environmental Impacts of High Priority Weeds in the Cape York Region, funded through the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative, will address priority weed management in areas where weeds are having significant economic and/or environmental impact.
South Cape York Catchments and the Balnggarrawarra Rangers have teamed up with Cooktown Holy Spirit College students to build pig exclusion fences around Curly and Lily Lagoons on Normanby Station.
The Normanby Aboriginal Corporation, in partnership with the Regional Landcare Facilitator Andrew Hartwig, was successful with funding from the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Grants Program for their project ‘Improving ground cover and resilience on Normanby Station’.
On 6-7 September Roy and Karlene Shephard of Crocodile Station hosted a two-day Low Stress Stock Handling course with trainer Chook Kealey.

Cape York NRM worked with Jabalbina’s Ayton Ranger Base and Shiptons Flat Ranger Base over the past year to develop posters for their fire plans.

The Fire Planning Annual Calendar (example above) will be available for any Cape York groups who would like a copy. A communications toolbox for fire planning, which includes templates for a poster, letter, media release, notice and calling card, was also produced for Jabalbina, and is available to other groups.

Contact Cape York NRM on 1300 132 262 or media@ capeyorknrm.com.au for more information.

Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals, South Cape York Catchments and Wenlock Catchment Management Group all held AGMs during the month. South Cape York Catchments and Cape York Weeds and Ferals both said good-bye to retiring long-term chairperson, and NRM advocate, John Giese; while Wenlock Catchment Management Group gratefully received a $1000 donation from SCYC to boost their newly-opened bank balance.
Entrants, organisers and voters gathered at the Lakeland Coffee House on Tuesday 19 September for the final vote and announcement of the results of the ‘Gateway to the Cape’ design concept competition.
Cape York recently hosted the State Regional Landcare Facilitators workshop. The workshop was attended by RLF’s from throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory, and a Federal Department of Agriculture and Fisheries representative.
by Dr. Wendy Seabrook, Learning from Nature, Cooktown Wouldn’t it be great not to need fertilisers? The money and time we’d save! We’re told it’s the best way to be productive. That we need fertilisers to replace the nutrients removed with the harvest.

As the 2016-2017 Annual General Meeting approaches for Cape York NRM, the board have said goodbye to two long serving Directors.

After almost three years as Indigenous Zone Four Director, Shane Gibson stood down at the recent Cape York NRM meeting in Weipa. Shane has relocated to Alice Springs for work and family, and will be sorely missed by the Cape York NRM Board of Directors.

Shane has been a strong voice for Indigenous Zone Four as well as for Cape York in general. He has been a key influence in the strengthening of governance of Cape York NRM in recent years.

Cape York NRM is seeking input from Cape York's land and sea managers to align the region’s current natural resource management targets in Cape York’s natural resource management plan.

A series of workshops will be held across Cape York in the next six to eight weeks, commencing in Cooktown on Thursday 26 October at the PCYC between 9am - 4pm.

Western Cape York turtle nesting season is underway again. Turtles nest all year round on Cape York, but peak nesting time on the western Cape is from July to October each year.

This corresponds with the time of the year that the beaches are most accessible, and visitation to these remote beaches continues to increase.