Rangers boost coun­try skills

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Tom Zaun­mayr

■ A dozen Ngur­rawaana rangers have taken a step to­wards gain­ing con­ser­va­tion land man­age­ment qual­i­fi­ca­tions af­ter a two-week on­coun­try train­ing course around Gre­gory Gorge and the Port­land River.

The in­dige­nous rangers took part in fish mon­i­tor­ing, land sur­vey­ing, species iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and four-wheel-drive train­ing.

Ngur­rawaana head ranger Kings­ley Wood­ley said he was happy with the high par­tic­i­pa­tion rate.

“For us, Wuyu­marri (Gre­gory Gorge) is a very im­por­tant site we would like to keep de­vel­op­ing and pro­tect­ing from en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts, so the fish mon­i­tor­ing as a con­tin­u­ous project on our lease is a good thing,” he said.

“We came across threat­ened species, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how their pop­u­la­tions do over time.”

Ranger Isaac Gui­ness said the fish trap­ping had been a valu­able skill to learn.

“I hope to do more train­ing like this be­cause it is a peace­ful feel­ing work­ing on coun­try and know­ing what species of an­i­mals we have on our beau­ti­ful land,” he said.

The pro­gram was aided by Green­ing Aus­tralia’s Pil­bara Cor­ri­dors Project, Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion and Bare­foot Train­ing.

Bare­foot Train­ing trainer Si­mon Lid­dell said the rangers were mo­ti­vated.

“It is al­ways a joy to teach and work with th­ese guys and to see their pas­sion for their land,” he said.

“They were very keen and mo­ti­vated to … learn more about it.”

The in­tent of the train­ing is to give the Yind­jibarndi peo­ple the skills re­quired to mon­i­tor their land and recog­nise en­vi­ron­men­tal changes be­fore they be­come ir­re­versible.

PCP co-or­di­na­tor Os­tiane Mas­siani said the course had been re­ward­ing for all in­volved.

“It was a very pos­i­tive (at­mos­phere), with a lot of en­thu­si­asm gen­er­ated and will­ing­ness from the rangers to par­tic­i­pate to all ac­tiv­i­ties,” she said.

Ms Mas­siani said the rangers would be trained to use data­base soft­ware to col­late field data and, once ad­di­tional fund­ing came through in 2016, would be able to move from pa­per to on­line records.

The re­sult of the work will be a Cer­tifi­cate II qual­i­fi­ca­tion in Con­ser­va­tion and Land Man­age­ment, ex­pected to be achieved next year.

Pic­ture: Jes­sica Al­lan

Ngur­rawaana rangers con­duct a fish mon­i­tor­ing sur­vey.

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