This year’s trip was the final leg of a four mission to canoe the full safe navigable length of the Jawoyn Katherine River. The first was at ‘top rock’ where the Katherine River begins on the Arnhem Plateau through to Jalawoopoor. The next section was then down to Jeyunay (Sleizbeck), then through Nagartluk billabongs largely inside Kakadu to Birdie Creek.
The last section left this year from Birdie Creek, including travelling 30 kms in one day as there was good flow from this year’s wet. A buffalo charged and keep coming at the canoes, thankfully we had a rifle and therefore protection and sustenance. Along the way there were side trips to hunting spots and other known locations. Rock Art was investigated and protected and burning operations were undertaking at times. The water was plenty and the fish fat.
The last 2 days on the water we from Yeuralba then continue through the mighty 13 Nitmiluk Gorges. We had to port/drag the 12th and 11th gorge over escarpment country. Then back on water through many rapids on our way down Nitmiluk. At the end we were met by a Nitmiluk Tour boat to guide us over where a rouge croc had been spotted. On completion Bruce Lake said it was amazing and the best way to experience Nitmiluk was certainly by canoe.
Jawoyn Association and NT Parks commenced a savanna burning project to generate greenhouse house credits which uses a market based mechanism to bring in extra significant funding to run a worlds best fire management program.
• The extra funding will mean more employment of Jawoyn traditional owners; including career pathways for a team supervisor, traineeship and funding for casual workers.
• More engagement of Jawoyn traditional owners through planning, training and implementation of burning and cultural activities.
• Cultural component program including rock art monitoring and protection; return to country camps for TO’s and school holiday activities.
• More finescale burning and monitoring of high conservation vegetation including, sandstone heath, rainforest, callitris pine groves, lancewood patches.
• World’s best fire management as initiated in the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement, landscape scale management reducing late wild fires by implementing early cool season mosaic burning.
• Significant investment in land management infrastructure including roading equipment and roading capacity, remote work station and upgrading of GIS technologies.
The Arnhem Land Fire preseason meeting took place once again at Barrapunta in somewhat monsoonal conditions. That didn’t put anyone off and the were about 100 fire managers in attendance. Our colleagues from Nitmiluk national park were invited as now we have a shared project they are part of the network. Special big thanks to Mimal for hosting us again this year and putting on another great meeting!!