CONNECTING AND IMPROVING RAINFORESTS

24 FEB 2023

Twelve new projects are helping to improve and connect rainforests from Bloomfield to Cardwell and west to Wondecla.

Landholders, traditional owners and threatened species recovery groups are embarking on tree-planting, weed control and habitat protection initiatives through a ‘Building Rainforest Resilience’ project focused on nationally significant rainforest areas.

It’s part of Terrain NRM’s vision to build one strong, healthy and intact forest system in the Wet Tropics region.

Working with landholders in priority areas

Terrain’s Tony O’Malley said 300 landholders – with large properties beside world heritage areas and within the region’s top-six cassowary corridors or with Mabi or littoral rainforest refugia – had been invited to be part of the project.

One of the latest grant recipients is the Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji Peoples Prescribed Body Corporate (GMYPPBC).  The Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji rangers will be removing weeds, including lantana, giant bramble and guava, from cassowary habitat on Aboriginal land within the GMYPPBC Trustee area in Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire east of Cairns.

Rangers Cadmas Sands and Justin Keyes said the work area was around a traditional walking track used for trade.

“It’s part of our story but nobody’s done work there for years. We want to clean up the weeds. We’ll give it our best to get it back to where it was. This funding allows our generation to go back on more country and work and buy materials and protect our country.”

Mr O’Malley said the work was right on the edge of the rainforest and would help the forest recover the area, through natural regeneration, once rangers removed the weeds.

Supporting Traditional Owners

“The Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji Peoples PBC manages 8,200 hectares of Aboriginal land and it’s one of the biggest coastal forests in the region,” he said. “This is about supporting the Traditional Owners to keep a large habitat patch in good condition.”

The initiative is part of the Building Rainforest Resilience Project, delivered by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

“In the fourth and final year of grants we are directly funding four traditional owner organisations and also funding three threatened species recovery groups which are employing traditional owners to work on revegetation and weed management projects,’’ Mr O’Malley said.

“Five grants are going to private landholders who will meet with traditional owners to talk about their projects.”

“The overall goal is to support landholders who have the most important habitat for endangered species and ecosystems, in order to maintain that habitat.”

For more information about this project, visit our Building Rainforest Resilience page. And to learn more about our plans to build one strong, healthy and intact forest system in the Wet Tropics, visit our Green Connections page.

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