GUYRA’S Indigenous Protected Area has fast become a learning centre, preservation area and a native wildlife and plant refuge.
The property,Tarriwa Kurrukun, was gazetted as an Indigenous Protected Area in 2010 with artefact scatters containing relics such as stone tools having been found on the property along with scar trees.
The 930-hectare property consisted of large tracts of virgin bush, however the incursion of weeds such as willow, blackberry and hawthorn bush, was damaging the integrity of the natural environment.
During the 12-month -long rehabilitation and development project that began in 2011 between the CMA and the Guyra Local Aboriginal Land Council, indigenous rangers were trained in skills including property management planning, Aboriginal site awareness, chainsaw operations, seed collection and plant propagation.
The propagation of native plant seedlings, particularly from threatened ecological communities is being developed as a business opportunity for this indigenous-owned-and-managed enterprise.
The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA provided advice, expertise, funding, and guidance during the project and at the end of the first 12 months, the results of this partnership are clear.
Key infrastructure is now in place including a covered work area, a fully- equipped classroom, plant nurseries, propagation sheds, water tanks, a barbecue area and storage facilities.
Indigenous rangers have removed weeds and feral pests and fenced the river frontage along Limestone Creek to stop cattle from straying onto the property and damaging fragile remnant vegetation.
Walking and access trails have also been created to allow visitors to enjoy the property, along with rest benches and informative signage that explains the significance of the ecological communities that are now protected on the property.
Participants have also learned how to make nesting boxes for endangered animals such as rare possum and owl species.
Many boxes have been installed in bushland on Tarriwa Kurrukun and covered with bark so these artificial structures blend into the surrounding environment and attract target species such as the barking owl.
“With its natural beauty, new facilities, and special environmental characteristics, Tarriwa Kurrukun is a wonderful place to visit,” Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA catchment officer – Aboriginal support Harry White said.
“(Visitors) to Tarriwa Kurrukun were very impressed by the work that’s been undertaken over the last 12 months.”