Story + Photos by Barry Lyon
Technical and onground training is being provided to land managers on Cape York to assist with improved water quality outcomes.
Cape York Natural Resource management is providing a range of training options for Indigenous and other land managers on Cape York under funding provided by the Queensland Government. A fire management workshop hosted by Cape York NRM and The Nature Conservancy in December 2016 highlighted the need for improved fire management capacity, including training of land managers.
This need has aligned with the Government funding aimed at improving fire management across the Cape, particularly in the reduction of extensive late season hot wildfires. Such fires readily impact upon the health of landscape. As well as directly injuring vegetation and wildlife communities and cattle pastures, they cause increased erosion and sediment and nutrient runoff which effects rivers and wetlands, and eventually marine ecosystems, including coral reefs and sea grass beds.
The training being delivered is wide ranging. It includes recognised fire management competencies required by many agencies and organisations involved in fire management. More broadly, training in Indigenous burning methods, honed over thousands of years to maintain biodiversity and landscape health, has a major focus, as does on ground monitoring of specific fire regimes, and interpreting satellite imagery as provided by the vital North Australian Fire Information Service. Training is being offered through structured workshops/sessions, in conjunction with Fire Management Cluster meetings, and mentoring through individual visits across the Cape. To date this has involved land managers on the Normanby–Annan and Endeavour River catchments; the Laura River basin; the Hann– Morehead River catchments; northern Princess Charlotte Bay hinterland; the mid–upper catchment of the Wenlock and Archer Rivers, and the Northern Peninsula area. A Cape York Indigenous fire workshop was also undertaken in late June.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Rural Fire Service are supporting this work, which is complementing other training being delivered.|
Cape York is a large, remote region, and the way fire managers are increasingly co-operating and sharing knowledge and resources is seeing many positives in terms of improved fire management.
This project is supported by the Queensland Government Department of Natural Resources and Mines through the Queensland Regional Natural Resource Management Investment Program