Park rangers recog­nised on World Ranger Day

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

THIS week, crit­i­cal and en­dur­ing con­ser­va­tion work of park rangers was recog­nised on World Ranger Day.

Rangers have been work­ing through­out Vic­to­ria in var­i­ous forms since the 1890s, when the state’s first na­tional parks were es­tab­lished.

To­day, Parks Vic­to­ria rangers and field ser­vice of­fi­cers care for 4.1 mil­lion hectares of moun­tains, deserts, forests and coast­line – an area about the size of Switzer­land: this in­cludes the sig­nif­i­cant Alpine Na­tional Park and Mount Buf­falo Na­tional Park.

They also care for 13 na­tional ma­rine parks and 11 ma­rine sanc­tu­ar­ies that sup­port more than 12,000 species of plants and an­i­mals, 90 per cent of which are found nowhere else in the world.

“Our rangers work through­out Vic­to­ria to pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment, our com­mu­ni­ties, and unique fauna and flora so that they re­main healthy for our cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” Parks Vic­to­ria chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Matthew Jack­son said.

In­ter­na­tional Ranger Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Sean Will­more also paid trib­ute to our lo­cal rangers.

“This is a spe­cial day for park rangers around the world, recog­nis­ing their work and the risks they take each and ev­ery day in ser­vice of na­ture, con­ser­va­tion and life it­self,” he said.

“I’d like to con­grat­u­late Parks Vic­to­ria’s rangers, and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Rangers and Con­ser­va­tion­ists Vic­to­ria, for sup­port­ing their in­ter­na­tional col­leagues, and for the fan­tas­tic work they do lo­cally within that global con­text, to con­serve their state’s nat­u­ral trea­sures.”

Each day is dif­fer­ent for a Parks Vic­to­ria ranger.

Their work in­cludes: pro­tect­ing parks, oceans, plants and an­i­mals from pests and pol­lu­tion; main­tain­ing thou­sands of kilo­me­tres of roads, tracks and trails, and camp­grounds, toi­lets and vis­i­tor fa­cil­i­ties; work­ing with lo­cal com­mu­nity, re­search and vol­un­teer groups; help­ing lost and in­jured peo­ple; and re­spond­ing to bush­fire and emer­gency sit­u­a­tions.

Last year, Parks Vic­to­ria rangers wel­comed more than 100 mil­lion vis­its to more than 180 parks and re­serves; treated more than one mil­lion hectares of land to con­trol pest plants and an­i­mals; and re­sponded to nearly 200 lost or in­jured park vis­i­tors.

As na­ture-based vis­i­ta­tion has grown, and the size and chal­lenges of the land be­ing man­aged has in­creased, so too has the num­ber of rangers.

Parks Vic­to­ria now em­ploys more than 400 rangers, in­clud­ing 40 Abo­rig­i­nal rangers who pro­vide in­valu­able tra­di­tional knowl­edge on keep­ing parks and re­serves healthy and re­silient.

In­ter­na­tion­ally, World Ranger Day com­mem­o­rates rangers killed or in­jured in the line of duty and cel­e­brates their work to pro­tect the planet’s nat­u­ral trea­sures and cul­tural heritage.

ON DUTY: Ranger Meaghan Raymond in the Alpine Na­tional Park.

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