In May, the four Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers along with Conway Burns and Chantel Van Wamelen undertook Biosecurity training in conjunction with the Department of Agricultural and Fisheries forest health staff. Presenters included Suzy Perry, Janet McDonald, Louise Shuey and Geoff Pegg.
The training was held over two days in Brisbane – with Day 1 being held at the Ecosciences Precinct and the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens and Day 2 was spent examining damage and checking field plots at Tallebudgera Valley.
Rangers learnt to identify myrtle rust, the destructive wind-borne fungus recently discovered on World Heritage-listed K’gari (Fraser Island) and its potential to impact on a range of ecologically and culturally significant plant species.
The team also learnt how to establish field monitoring plots to check the ongoing health of K’gari’s forests now included under the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative.
As part of the training, DAF Biosecurity and Forest Health officers will work with the Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers and DES to develop a training manual. In the future, subject to funding availability, it is hope that this will be developed and distributed for use by other Environment agencies and interest groups.
The next block of training will be conducted on K’gari in August.
This article was developed in conjunction with Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the World Heritage Unit.