Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Tjuntjuntjara community discuss Spinifex Healthy Country Plan

[January 2015]

The Spinifex People are driving development of a Spinifex Healthy Country Plan (SHCP) which will provide them with a detailed Land Management Program for rangers to look after Country.

The Conservation Management P/L team who have been contracted to assist Spinifex Land Management to develop their SHCP, visited Tjuntjuntjara community in the Great Victoria Desert for the first time from 17-20 November 2014.

Pila Nguru Manager Mr Ian Baird and five rangers of the Spinifex Land Management team met with them to begin familiarisation with the process to be employed in 2015 and to plan the Return to Country trips with elders and youth, men and women.

The Spinifex People have been involved in many community-initiated environmental projects over the last decade which have gained increasing momentum over the last three years.

Rangelands NRM Program Manager (Desert & Pilbara) Chris Curnow said the Spinifex Land Management Program will articulate long-held aspirations for land management, and management of natural and cultural values, such as threatened species, and inter-generational transfer of cultural knowledge for Spinifex Country.

“This project will link with the Spinifex Ranger Program by delivering training in fauna survey and monitoring techniques to enable data collection to inform on-ground management actions,” he said.

Initial discussions focussed on the key localities that needed to be considered for the development of the strategies and actions for threatened species (particularly Malleefowl and Southern Marsupial Mole) and cultural sites of significance currently and historically known to occur with Spinifex Country.

The visiting team, informed the Spinifex Rangers, who in turn helped to inform the community, about the process to develop the SHCP.

The Return to Country trips begin in March 2015 with Healthy Country planner Mr Stuart Cowell (Conservation Management P/L) and Conservation Management team members accompanying the rangers and community on country and in discussions.

Members of the Spinifex Ranger Team later attended the threatened species focus workshops on the Southern marsupial mole and Malleefowl, run by the newly established Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust.

The workshops, held from 24-25 November 2014, drew threatened species experts together and provided the opportunity for rangers’ to share their traditional ecological knowledge of their ancestral lands.

Image: Mr Ian Baird (GM, Pila Nguru AC) (second from right) with visitors (L-R) Chris Curnow, Ross Kermode, Kurt Tschirner prior to departure on the mail plane to Kalgoorlie. (Credit: Conservation Management P/L)