My first trip to Oriners Pastoral Lease coincided with a meeting of the Yam Aboriginal Corporation Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and the Kowanyama Land Office Rangers; discussing the future of the Oriners and Sefton Carbon Project. I had heard many times before how Oriners and Sefton had been purchased by the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council in the early 1990’s as an investment on behalf of the people of Kowanyama. So, when the opportunity presented to travel to the property I was more than keen to have a travel out into the wilds of Cape York to see for myself.
Located in central Cape York, the Oriners property is a land of lagoons and water holes that stream with life, fish, crocs and birds. The country is looking healthy though dry as a result of cool burning techniques during the earlier part of the year and very little rain during that period. The dirt roads are starting to get dust potholes.
The Aboriginal Carbon Fund have been assisting the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and the Land Office since 2014 to run a carbon project on Oriners and Sefton in cooperation with the traditional owner group. This has brought in a regime of cool savanna country burns during the early part of the year to reduce the potential risk and output from major hot fires latter in the year.
The meeting I attended on Oriners discussed the future of the carbon project to develop clear understanding between the Traditional Owners who were represented through the Yam Aboriginal Corporation; the Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and my self-representing the Aboriginal Carbon Fund.
The meeting had agreed that having a sound financial plan was important particularly for investing back into the infrastructure on Oriners, so the Rangers have good work area with facilities and access to equipment, so they can function despite the remoteness.
The Kowanyama Rangers are well trained and experience to work in this region and they know what is required to adequately do their jobs. I’m looking forward to my next trip traveling to Oriners during the 2018 dry season to participate in the Carbon reduction cool burns and to learn more from the Rangers about burning and this beautiful landscape.
by Barry Hunter Monday, 23 October 2017