The Kimberley is frequently described as having a pristine environment with biodiversity rich untouched eco-systems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Poor government land-care and feral animal management decision making, and out of control government aerial hot burns of the past two and a half decades have impacted heavily on the Kimberley environment. Cane toads, now close to invading the whole of the Kimberley, have become the final 'straw' that may break the camels back!
The once magnificent untouched Kimberley river systems are suffering from intense annual aerial 'controlled' burning with catchment areas and river systems no longer containing the vegetation required to assist river and creek banks with wet season flooding. Native vegetation is giving way to dominant woody weeds and broad leafed flora, and native wild life and Indigenous cultural rock art assets are being impacted badly with the out of control burning.
More recent aerial programs involving Indigenous Ranger Training programs working towards carbon credits have increased the burning in the Kimberley. While this program may be involving Indigenous people, to even suggest it comes close to the practice of their ancestors is a massive leap. The re-painting of rock art sites was very quickly interrupted by European impact and fire-stick burning regimes were completely interrupted by the Kimberley pastoral industry introduced in 1885. By the time aerial burning began all trace of early Indigenous 'fire-stick' management had disappeared.
This Blog Site will look at a number of issues involving the the use of fire as a management tool, the cane toad issue, other feral animals and their invasive impacts, and what community can do verses government and government scientists. We will begin the debate with the burning issue in the Kimberley. We are hoping that open debate will increase public awareness of the huge environmental issues effecting the Kimberley and help the general public to understand that they can influence many of the government decisions currently under debate.