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!!
Jawoyn rangers have had a big weed season. They focused the major threat of WONs listed weed Gamba. Gamba is a grass that produces high fuel loads and therefore hot fires. The fire s it can cause maybe uncontainable by our current methods. The more the rangers went out to contain this weed the more they found. Katherine is now the southernmost frontline for the advancement of gamba.
Neem and Mahogany was also targeted especially at culturally important areas along the Katherine River. Rangers undertook chemcert training and taught casuals how the use monitoring devices such as I tracker.
Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation and its daughter organisation Banatjarl are the latest landholders to sign up for the Territory Conservation Agreement program.
TheTCA protects 168 hectares at Barnatjarl including two significant springs and rainforest, and is the 37th agreement to be established.
The TCA is expected to maintain the ecological value of two sites, which include culturally significant rock art, engravings and burial sites.
Parts of the land once experienced intensive pastoral use but the Banatjarl Women’s Group have since established a food garden and bush medicine base, while members of the Jawoyn community also hunt, fish and camp in the area.
Traditional Owner from the Derkolo clan and project manager on the TCA, Steven Andrews, said they would remove feral buffalos, cattle, horses and donkeys from the area and install six kilometres of fencing to keep them out.
Following from the joint exhibition of Apologies to Roadkill: life and death in contemporary Australian art and Jawoyn: Working our Country internationally renowned video artist, Shaun Gladwell came out with jawoyn rangers on patrol. As well as showing him some sites we were hoping to get him a killer. Unfortuneatley we were in the middle of a monsoon pulse and things were a little limiting. Fortunately Shaun had his mobile virtual reality set on hand and we got to explore a virtual universe from the comfort of the ranger shed. It was first time for the rangers and they were blown away, no apologies from Shaun.
Jawoyn: Working our Country is an exhibition of images taken by Katherine-based photographer Callum Flinn and a number of Jawoyn Rangers, who have travelled together to cultural sites on traditional Jawoyn land.
This collection of large photographs aims to showcase and celebrate Jawoyn Country, and the work Jawoyn Rangers do to represent and advance the views and aspirations of the Jawoyn people over the management, protection, control and development of traditional Jawoyn lands.
For a month from 27/01/17 opening 6-8 pm
A recent dry electrical storm rolled over the stone country in the upper reaches of the Katherine River on Jawoyn Arnhem Land adjacent to Kakadu. 3 fires where ignited and on very short notice Jawoyn rangers mounted a helicopter to assess the situation. It was pretty serious with a lot of room for a wildfire to travel including important cultural sites and habitat in its path. A Jawoyn ranger ground crew was musted up and a support team from our Warddekan Rangers to the north joined in as the fires were on our boundaries.
An 8 day campaign followed with over 20 rangers from two team teams dealing with 3 wildfires in very tricky country. Helicopters where the only to reach the fires from the base camp at Sleisbeck with Kakadu on the Katherine River. The rangers worked continuously in the daylight hours and finally got around the wildfires and contained all three. This was a triumphant effort as this was the most challenging campaign that our rangers had tackled. Now thanks to the rains we can unwind for the season.