Nitmiluk “Jawoyn Valley” Rock Art Survey

 

During September Jawoyn Rangers spent a week in the Jawoyn Valley within Nitmiluk surveying Rock Art. The Jawoyn Valley is a designated walking and camping area and there hadn’t been a maintenance survey for some time. The new generation of rangers had never been there and it was a great opportunity for them to see their country.

The Jawoyn Valley is a remarkable area of Nitmiluk with spectacular views over stone country with wet season waterfalls, plunge pools and adjacent pockets of rainforest. Judging from the amount of rock art old people clearly enjoyed living there. There were some sites with large amount of art and some serious looking images which we prioritized as being sites to continually maintain. Apart from fading from time and elements there wasn’t great impacts from threats. The young and old rangers that participated in the survey had a great time.

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Road Maintenance Spring Country

Jawoyn rangers have been repairing roads at very difficult places that have become so bad that people can no longer country areas beyond. With the guidance of Bill the trainer the rangers are participating in training based in real situations.

We have been grading the road, dozer the sand sheets of the road, back filling crossing with bobcat and tip truck and draining soaks that have formed on our road with the loader. A tricky crossing and large spring were improved albeit with some serious challenges such as bogging our loader. Thankfully the dozer was on hand to pull out.

We also found sugarbag where the grader had to remove roots spreading under the road and at places were fallen rocks were on the road.

Working with researches

 

School holidays is also a time for University researches and their students to migrate from their lab and seminar rooms to get out in the field to gather data and experience. At Jawoyn we have aligned with some good folk from Princeton (USA), University Wollongong, Charles Darwin University and University of NSW. Their work reflects areas of study that has been identified as important from our Healthy Country Plan. This includes research into; fire birds: birds that are capable of spreading fire, growth of native Pine stands, flooding and climate history from flooding events in the Nitmiluk Gorge and have held field trips showing our land management activities on country.

School Holidays Time

 

 

Each week of the school holidays the rangers have been supporting Jawoyn families to get back to country. As much of the country we want burnt all done by now we can travel about easily and visit places that are important. As its school holidays the kids can come along and make it all much more fun.

So far have been out to Bindaluk, a good day’s drive at the top of the Mann River which flows north to the coast. A good job was done to clean up around an old out station. A week was spent at Wire Yard with 25 kids. It is at a deep pool and crossing on the Katherine River between Sleizbeck and the Nitmiluk close to the tri boundary of Nitmiluk, Kakadu and Arnhem Land. A big camp was made and lots of bush tucker to eat.

Gamba campaign 2018

 

The Pine Creek gamba team have been hard at it in and around the northern Jawoyn estate of Barnjarn. They teamed up with regional expert Jaemie Page and tackled the gamba hotspots of Pine Creek town and Moline and Wandie tracks.

After the ground work was completed they hosted a Gamba awareness day at Pine Creek multisport club. In conjunction with Vic Daly shire word was put at around town, weeds branch and local mines were invited and a BBQ put on.

The rangers and weeds branch gave presentations to all present with a special one for the school children following the town meeting. It was a big success, thanks you to Veronica from Vic Daly, Weeds branch and Jaemie Page.

Burning begins 2018

Fire season 2018 is now in full swing. We have had another great ALFA pre-season meeting at Barrapunta hosted by Mimal rangers followed by our joint management meeting at Nitmiluk, expertly facilitated by Territory NRM. We got around to our communities to talk to our members and people living on Jawoyn country.

Aerial burning has begun in Barnjarn, Nitmiluk and Manyallaluk country. As it was a quick end to the dry we were able to take some kids out for a fire walk/camp during easter break on the Womang range. We have also completed some asset burning at Barnatjarl, Nitmiluk and adjacent to our neighbours near Emugalan road next to Womang range. The planning and early implementation has seen great participation from the young, old, key stakeholders and of course our highly skilled team of rangers.

Wet Season Burning

 

The break in the monsoon provided a great opportunity to get some wet season burning done. An aerial burn was conducted within Nitmiluk Park boundary and adjacent to Mt Todd in the Yinberrie Hills. During 2017 we were able to save some big patches of spear grass. Spear grass can form continuous strands of highly flammable fuel as it is an annual grass. By burning in wet season you reduce the grass just when it is flowering giving other perennial grasses a chance to grow.

A fire walk took place in the stone country on the Northern side of Nitmiluk gorge. On these walks you can target high fuel loads that would burn hot in dry season but have enough fuel to burn now, albeit small patches of low intensity fires. This mixes up fuel age, breaks a continuous spread of species and creates more resilience in the landscape.

There was alot of water up there and we came across a few waterfalls. Big thanks to Nitmiluk tours who gave us a boat ride to assit with the Nitmiluk Joint Management fire walk.

Wet season plant collection

The Barnatjarl stronbala womens group has started its plant collection work. Once these plants are proceesed the will be planted into the bush food and medicene garden. Key plants that they have targeted have been colour plants and yams. Ranger Gloria has enjoyed working with her auntie and nana, around 10 women have been out and about with the rangers.

Gamba control

 

Rangers have been working hard at keeping gamba off our conutry. We are working hard within Barnjarn wanting to keep Gamba off our side of the highway. With big infestations through Edith Farms and CDU rural college this will be an ongoing process. Rangers will keep patrol up to hunt out signle plants that have hitched a ride or blown in from afar. Sometimes hunting gamba can take you to some great spots! As we can only weed when its not raining it can be very hot work, so it good cool down during the heat of the day.

If you notice a gamba plant (check photo) please contact jawoyn office on 89723015.