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South Cape York Catchments (SCYC), Northern Gulf Natural Resource Management (Northern Gulf RMG) and Cape York NRM are working with graziers in the Mitchell River Catchment to help protect soils and waterways.

Last year, Cape York NRM and Northern Gulf RMG worked with Maitland, Old Maitland, Spring Hill, and Bonny Glenn Stations. This year Balurga, Harkness, and Strathaven Stations are coming on board.

Producers on the Cape are developing peer relationships as they work together to cultivate advanced farming methods.

Greater engagement amongst the producers on Cape York has been facilitated by Cape York NRM’s Regional Extension Officer, Oliver McConnachie, under the Queensland Government’s Enhanced Extension Coordination in Reef Catchments project.

‘The guiding principle of the project is that practice change is not to do with land—it’s to do with people. By focusing on the people, positive change in land management is being achieved,’ Oliver said.

Cape York NRM have installed the last of three internet – enabled weather stations in Lakeland in order to provide the local producers with more reliable weather information to help them make important decisions around nutrient and water use.

Regional Extension Coordinator Oliver McConnachie, who is leading the initiative, said gathering weather information accurately at the local level and integrating it with Bureau of Meteorology data will lead to more reliable weather predictions.

Cape York NRM’s Healthy Farming Futures project is working closely with Cape York’s pastoralists to help their businesses become more sustainable.

Co-led by Cape York NRM’s Regional Agriculture Land Facilitator Andrew Hartwig, the project sees graziers in western flowing catchments in Central Cape York increase the amount of ground cover on their properties to help reduce erosion, sediment run-off and improve water quality in the Gulf.

It also provides a pathway towards business sustainability.

Cape York NRM’s Healthy Farming Futures project is supporting a Cape York Wildlife Sanctuary which has so far received over 2,500 mm of rain this wet season, to stabilise the landscape to protect critical habitat.

Cape York NRM and Terrain NRM Enhanced Extension Coordination in Reef Catchments project aims to change land management practice in order to improve the water quality of the northern Great Barrier Reef.

A generous donation of 50 turtle nest cages by two businesses, Hickey’s Metal Fabrication, and Specialised Brake and Clutch Service, to the Pormpuraaw Land and Sea Management Rangers (Pormpuraaw Rangers) will help the next generation of endangered olive ridley turtles survive.

Staff from the Penrith, NSW - based businesses donated time and materials to the effort which was organised by Specialised Brake and Clutch Service’s Kevin Gavin.

‘Everyone was very pleased to help,’ he said.

Despite its record of success, WCTTAA funding is due to cease in June 2020.

‘It is not overstating it to say WCTTAA is the only thing standing between olive ridley turtles and localised extinction on the western Cape,’ Kerri said.

‘If businesses would like to provide support for the program to continue, please contact WCTTAA on kerri.woodcock@capeyorknrm.com.au

WCTTAA is supported by Cape York NRM and is funded by the Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program, a joint initiative of the Australian and Queensland Governments

Ongoing efforts to protect marine turtles on western Cape York Peninsula will be boosted with the assistance of a grant to Cape York NRM from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Funds will be used to purchase sand temperature loggers and nest protection cages.

Two of the major threats to nesting marine turtles on the Cape are nest predation by feral pigs, and an increase in sand temperature as a result of climate change.

Cape York NRM hosted a Soils and Weed Solutions Field Day in Cooktown on 29 February.

The hands-on event, aimed at growers and graziers, explored the latest thinking on sustainable solutions to the ongoing challenge of weed and soil management.

The event brought together members of two Cape York agriculture and grazing networks—the Endeavour and Normanby Mixed Farming and Grazing communities.

Cape York NRM recognises the challenges and complexities of living in remote Australia.

We are all one community and need to support each other, through the good times and the hard times.

With this in mind, we are sharing mental health messages across our platforms and want to hear your stories and suggestions on how to reach out, or reach in, when times are tough.

Please send through your stories to media@capeyorknrm.com.au and let us know if you would prefer us not to use your name.

Cape York NRM has joined over 70 natural resource management, farming and conservation organisations in a call for a $4 billion stimulus package for the land management and conservation sector.

Cape York NRM, on behalf of far northern landholders, pastoralists, conservationists and carbon project managers, is calling on the Australian and Queensland governments to continue funding the Northern Australian Fire Information (NAFI) website, a critically important, real time fire coordination tool used by land managers across northern Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Funding for the site, firenorth.org.au, runs out in June.

Request for ongoing funding of North Australia Fire Information Website (www.firenorth.org.au)

I am writing on behalf of all attendees at the 2019 Cape York Regional Fire Forum, to request your support for the future of the North Australia Fire Information (NAFI) website. Nearly 100 participants at the Forum, representing Indigenous land managers, pastoralists, conservation managers, carbon industry and agency staff, unanimously voted to request that the Queensland and Australian Governments provide funding to ensure that this vital service continues.

While unprecedented fires ravage southern Australia, leaders in fire management came together in Cooktown to further their work in managing fire across northern Australia for grazing, biodiversity, greenhouse gas emission reduction and cultural outcomes.

The Cape York Fire Forum, held in Cooktown on 3–4 December, focused on the opportunities and challenges of carbon farming through burning—a process where Australian Carbon Credit units are produced by preventing or reducing greenhouse emissions through planned early dry season burning practices.

Cape York is one of the only places in the country that is able to isolate as a region. While this is a valuable situation for our residents, it brings with it many challenges for our teams to continue to deliver on projects.

Crisis brings creativity, and our team is working hard to service the Cape through NRM activities as much as possible, without physically getting out and about.

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