Site location: From Laura through to Normanby and Melsonby stations across Kings Plains and around the Northern Wet Tropics Rainforest margins

Project Summary:
Historic land clearing, repeated late season wildfires and Lantana invasion have stopped natural regeneration of endangered regional ecosystems along critical riparian linkages into the Northern Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and surrounding terrestrial biodiversity corridors. This project aimed to reverse this change by empowering Traditional Owners, Rangers and Community to deliver four key themes of this Caring for Our Country investment. The project has:

- Brought about lasting change to the way our community manage fire for biodiversity across 360,000 Ha in the upper Laura/Normanby and upper Annan Catchments;
- Built upon previous CfoC investments by CYNRM this project also removed 2 Won’s transformer weeds from an identified wildlife corridor, propagated and planted out degraded riparian sites;
- Supported Traditional Owners utilising IEK, Indigenous rangers, community volunteers and school groups to strengthen community engagement in NRM by holding field day’s workshops and knowledge sharing events.

Project partners included the rangers from several Indigenous groups, managers of 10 properties, Wet Tropics Management Authority and managers of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park. Traditional Owners, rangers and community worked cooperatively to improve biodiversity outcomes at the landscape scale by increasing connectivity into the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, enhance ecosystem resilience to wildfire and protect an identified terrestrial biodiversity corridor East of Laura. This project adressed and improved conservation outcomes for 6 EPBC listed species and 2 endangered ecological communities as the fire components of their recovery plans and conservation advice are implemented.

The current contract will deliver activities and outcomes for the first year of this five-year project.

Activities 

Improved fire management through planning: Engaged 4 land holders, 15 Traditional owners 2 Rural Fire brigades and 2 QPWS staff in Fire planning activities. Included holding 2 pre fire management meetings

 Supported capacity of Rangers, and Traditional owners to monitor the outcomes of their burning activities; 2 pre fire assessments completed, 2 baseline reports produced

 Increased community NRM skills and knowledge: 2 community awareness, workshops, and fieldtrip events held. Including regular project updates.

 Implemented improved fire management: Supported implementation of Fire management with best practice fire management activities across 360,000 Ha, including 6km of fire breaks maintained and improved, 6km (440 ha) of riparian vegetation protected by early fuel reduction burns;

 Expanded community nursery production for 700 plants;

 Community revegetation events executed including 700 plants planted; Began control of riparian Gamba Grass over 2 ha

 Completed follow up control of Riparian Lantana at Trevathan Creek – 75 ha/4 km;

 Supported capacity of Rangers, and Traditional owners to implement NRM on their country; employ up to 4 TOs; held 2 workshops on Natural Resource Management;

 Engaged Rangers and Traditional owners in 10 "learning by doing" training events whilst conducting works program;

 Supported capacity of Rangers, and Traditional owners to monitor the outcomes of their burning activities; 2 pre fire assessments completed, 2 baseline reports produced;

 Engaged local community in project by providing opportunities for on ground work activities, including engaging Rural Fire brigade and community members at the project sites: 3 fire management activities and 2 re-vegetation activities;

 Increased community NRM skills and knowledge: 10 community awareness, workshops, and field trip events held. Including regular project updates;

 Work with CYNRM to deliver progress report, approved by CYNRM and Consultant.



Expected Outcomes 
1. Late season wildfire impacts reduced by rangers across 360,000 Ha in the upper Laura Normanby and upper Annan Catchments with a targeted aerial incendiary program supported by on ground fire management activities
2. Increased resilience to climate change and wildfire 1 terrestrial biodiversity corridor and 3 critical ecological linkages into the Northern Wet Tropics WHA
3. Improved stability of rainforest margins
4. Improved outcomes for 6 EPBC listed species and 2 ecological communities
5. Reduced fire impacts to cultural heritage sites and culturally significant species across Normanby and Melsonby stations, East Quinkan reserve and Wunbuwarra country
6. Explore carbon sequestration from improved fire management and revegetation works
7. 75 Ha of Lantana within Wet Tropics wildlife corridor areas no longer competing with riparian species
8. 2 ha of Gamba Grass infestations removed from Wet Tropics wildlife corridor site
9. Increased capacity of Traditional owners and rangers to manage fire on their country – Implement current fire management plans
10. 2 ranger groups and 2 Land Trusts utilising IEK to manage country
11. Improved community engagement in NRM through conducting community field day’s workshops and knowledge sharing events.
12. Improved knowledge and skills of Rangers and community for managing fire for cultural and biodiversity outcomes

Commence date:
11 Nov 2013
Status:
Closed
Participating partners:
Cape York NRM Zone:
Zone 4 (Southern Cape)