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Cape York Peninsula is a dream destination, the ultimate road-trip, for people who love four-wheel-driving, fishing and camping. Visitor numbers increase every year, and most take good care of the place. But a small minority are causing problems for other visitors, the region and its people.

A collection of resources for the Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance

Recovery plans set out the research and management actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of, listed threatened species or threatened ecological communities. The aim of a recovery plan is to maximise the long term survival in the wild of a threatened species or ecological community.

An occasional newsletter about the Golden-Shouldered Parrot produced by Stephen Garnett and Gabriel Crowley.

A documentary which showcases the work of Indigenous Rangers involved in the Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance (WCTTAA) is now available to the public.

Words Jessie Price-Decle and Juliana Foxlee | Photo Jessie Price-Decle

The three-year project saw graziers make changes to their land and grazing practices to improve land condition and water quality outcomes.

The project team, made up of Cape York NRM, South Cape York Catchments, and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries staff, worked across 20 properties over the life of the project.

South Cape York Catchments Grazing Project Officer Jessie Price-Decle said the project made a difference to water quality and land condition.

Words Robyn May | Photo Michael Goddard

The West Normanby distal gully site on Springvale Station is identified as the most important sediment source in the Normanby Basin. Targeted remediation works on active gullies are being implemented to reduce erosion and protect river and Great Barrier Reef habitats.

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’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.

Words Juliana Foxlee | Photo James Donaldson

Cape York NRM is partnering with Northern Gulf Resource Management Group to facilitate opportunities for Australian Indigenous people to showcase and share their cultural fire knowledge, establish a network of Indigenous fire practitioners and protect the habitat of threatened species.

In May, Northern Gulf RMG coordinated an on- country fire workshop at Talaroo Station in the northern Gulf area. The three - day event was hosted by the Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation.

Words Robyn May | Photo Cape York NRM

Cape York land managers’ efforts to reduce the loss of valuable top soil, and increase grazing productivity, are being supported by a suite of native grass identification tools.

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.

Words Juliana Foxlee | Photo Robyn May

Cape York NRM and Terrain NRM are working together to help farmers learn from each other and bring greater coordination to personal farming support services, also known as extension services.

Known as the Enhanced Extension Coordination project, the three - year initiative is designed
to improve coordination, collaboration and communication between extension networks and farmers within the Wet Tropics and Cape York catchment areas to increase efficiency, reduce duplication and improve environmental outcomes.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is conducting a survey on pest animal and weed management. They are seeking assistance from owners/managers of agricultural properties to provide vital information about pest animal and weed management in Australia. 

You are invited to complete the survey by 15 July 2019.

Simply go to www.agriculture.gov.au/PAWsurvey to complete the survey. 

Thanks to funding from a combination of programs, Andrew Hartwig from Cape York NRM recently coordinated aerial burning across a number of Cape York properties.

The early burns were designed to reduce fuel loads and connect fire breaks on a landscape-wide scale, and were carried out by Cape York NRM in partnership with South Cape York Catchments and Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Inc.

As the year winds down, planning ramps up for WCTTAA’s end of year Forum which will focus on reviewing the outcomes of the 2019 turtle season and contemplating the year ahead.

Words Juliana Foxlee | Photos Barry Lyon

As the focus on Australia’s extinction crisis heats up, Cape York Natural Resource Management and Northern Gulf Resource Management Group are working to protect the habitat of one of Cape York’s rarest birds – the golden-shouldered parrot.

2019–2020 has been a big year for the Biodiversity and Fire Program. After a number of staff changes, the team now consists of Biodiversity and Fire Program Manager Kerri Woodcock who is based in Cairns, and Biodiversity Officer Dr Helen Penrose, and Community Engagement Officer Joey Dix who are both based in Cooktown.

‘This project aims to substantially reduce the amount of sediment flowing into the Normanby, and as a result, improve water quality in the Northern Great Barrier Reef,’

Words and photo Jessie Price-Decle

Late season fires can destroy habitat, threaten property and livestock, and scorch groundcover leaving country vulnerable to erosion. Fighting fires is also a significant drain on people’s time and resources.

Waratah Nicholls arrived in Far North Queensland in the early 80's for a Bungle in the Jungle at Bloomfield and fell in love. Her piece of paradise is in Mungumby Valley - a stones throw from the famous Lions Den Hotel. 

Waratah is an artist, teacher and community worker. Through her work, her passion and her kindness, Waratah has left her mark in art galleries, communities and hearts across Cape York Peninsula. She's currently coordinating the 'Gateway to the Cape' - a concept to develop a visitor stop in Lakeland, promoting environmental awareness for travellers.

Lewis Roberts is a highly regarded self-taught naturalist and botanical illustrator. He has an Order of Australia, and last year quietly received the Queensland Natural History award. Scientists from all over the world visit Lewis and his brother Charlie at Shiptons Flat – a property which has been in their family for well over one hundred years. Lewis has had several species named after him, yet is incredibly modest. His kind and gentle nature, and in depth knowledge of his environment, shines through in this interview - on the banks of Parrot Creek at Shiptons Flat.

Mikayla Down and Wilfred Peter are Traditional Owners from Lama Lama Country, which hugs the northern coast of Princess Charlotte Bay on Cape York Peninsula.

Mikayla and Wilfred work as rangers with Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation's Lama Lama Rangers caring for and managing traditional land and sea country from Silver Plains in the north to Marina Plains in the south. 

Listen as Mikayla and Wilfred discuss life as a ranger, growing up in Cape York, and the responsibilities they hold as young Traditional Owners caring for their Country.

Marie Shipton lives in Wujal Wujal and is a Traditional Owner from the area. The interview is recorded on Country at the mouth of the beautiful Bloomfield River, in the company of a patrolling crocodile. 

Marie talks about growing up on the river, before being moved to Wujal Wujal by the Lutheran Church, and shares stories about her family, culture and life in the place where the rainforest meets the reef. 

These days Marie works to preserve and share the stories and culture of her Country, as a Cultural Officer at Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Council.

Stories from the people who live, breathe and work Cape York Peninsula, managing the land and our future.

First episode available Friday 16 March 2018.

Play below, click to subscribe.

The theme music is Cape York by Black Image Band, used with permission from Vince Harrigan, Black Image Band.

This series is hosted by Cape York NRM's Lyndal Scobell, and produced by Richard Dinnen. Cape York NRM's on-line team are Ben Lister and Robyn May.

Louise Stone has lived a colourful life.  She grew up on dairy farm on the Atherton Tablelands and has travelled Australia's east coast in horse and buggy. Louise can play almost any musical instrument she picks up, sings like a songbird and she once went on tour with Ester King from the Platters. She has a fascinating career working in Aboriginal communities in Queensland and Northern Territory, training Rangers in Conservation and Land Management. Until late last year, Louise was the Ranger Coordinator with Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers.

Alan Wilson has spent almost 40 years on Cape York, and has seen and done a lot. He is a Cook Shire Councillor, and he’s run cattle stations, the Laura pub and the town’s roadhouse.

He has led many campaigns to improve life on the Cape. He pushed for the new bridge over the Laura River south of town, and continues to campaign for one at north Laura – where wet season floods isolate the town and can be a real danger to people. 

Alan has spent years campaign for a container deposit scheme for Queensland - which has finally been taken on by the Queensland Government.

We begin the second series of My Cape York Life on Artemis Station, a cattle property in the heart of Cape York.  Artemis is a 125 thousand hectare property midway between Coen and Laura. The property has been in the Shephard family for about 100 years and is run by Tom and Sue Shephard. In episode one, we are talking with Tom.

Peter and Annette Marriott have done a lot in their time together on Cape York Peninsula.

The Marriotts run Ninda Creek, a 9,000 acre cattle property near Lakeland on southern Cape York.

Annette was born in Cooktown, and Peter moved to the Cape in the early 70s to manage Crocodile Station. 45 years later he hasn’t quite made the fortune he dreamed of back then, but Peter and Annette still love living and working on the Cape.

Jessie Price is a young mum, an environmental scientist, and the Grazing Engagement Officer with South Cape York Catchments - a community-based natural resource management organisation based in Cooktown.

Jessie began her Cape York working life as a trainee with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, a spectacular introduction to the region she loves living in and working for.

Jessie is passionate about conservation on Cape York, and understands first-hand the challenges of having a career and raising a family in one of Australia's remote regions.

Sue Shephard moved to Cape York in 1970 to work at Musgrave Station for the Shephard family.  She met the youngest Shephard son, Tom, got married, and together they raised four children on Artemis Station.

Artemis is a 125 thousand hectare cattle property between Laura and Coen on Cape York Peninsula. Sue tells some amazing stories of raising kids and cattle, caring for country, and researching the endangered golden shouldered parrot.

Desmond Tayley is a Cape York leader, who has the rare distinction of being one of Australia’s youngest and longest-serving mayors.

As the Mayor of Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, he describes his community as the place “so nice you’ve got to say it twice”.

Wujal Wujal, on southern Cape York, is where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. It’s an Indigenous community located in lush country on the banks of the Bloomfield River.

Wujal Wujal is south of Cooktown, north of the Daintree, and home to about 500 people.

Stories from the people who live, breathe and work Cape York Peninsula, managing the land and our future.

First episode available Friday 10 February 2017.

Play below, click to subscribe.

This week Cape York NRM bring you two bonus episodes of My Cape York Life.

We are talking with Bob Frazer, who was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Cape York NRM, and spent eight years with the organisation, retiring in April 2018.

Bob has an impressive career, spending 13 years in NRM leadership positions in Cape York and North Queensland, and he is highly regarded across Australia for his work.

Billy Harrigan is the Cultural Officer with Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council and is a Traditional Owner from the area.

He has always lived in the south-east of Cape York and has worked hard throughout his life.  Now, he is a few years from retirement. He has seen a lot of change in community, technology, environmental management and government policy.

In this episode of My Cape York Life, Billy reflects on life in Wujal Wujal and Cape York, the importance of culture and tradition, on life under the Aboriginal Protectorate and the long road to getting Country back.

Dr Wendy Seabrook is an ecologist, an innovator and a strategic  thinker.  She has worked around the world and is originally from London. She's worked with the giant Aldabra tortoises in the Seychelles and cane toads in northern New South Wales and on the Atherton Tablelands. And, "like many people (she) just ended up in Cooktown".

In Episode 1 of My Cape York Life, we talk with Shelley Lyon - a ranger at Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve - on the banks of the Wenlock River.

Shelley has spent over 40 years on Cape York working and living in some of Australia's most beautiful and remote places. In this episode we learn how Shelley and her family came to live on the Cape, and hear some funny and scary tales of her adventures over the years. 

Bob Frazer was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Cape York NRM, who spent eight years with the organisation until he retired in April 2018.

Bob has an impressive career, spending 13 years in NRM leadership positions in Cape York and North Queensland, and he is highly regarded across Australia for his work.

In this bonus eposide of My Cape York Life, Bob shares his story about working on Cape York, the challenges of setting up a regional natural resource management body, and his reflections on natural resource management into the future.

This community, heritage, and environment management plan was developed by the South of Embley working project group for the area of Rio Tinto Alcan's mining lease between Aurukun and Weipa in mid 2011.

The Great Barrier Reef report card is part of the Reef Quality Water Protection Plan and measures the progress from 2009 to 2013 regarding the Reef Water Quality Protection plan 2009 targets.

The Pormpuraaw fire management plan was created by the Pormpuraaw Land and Sea Management group on behalf of the Thaayorre and Mungkan Traditional Owners and the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council in conjunction with Cape York Sustainable Futures and Firescape Science, to provide various strategies.