Sunrise over the rocky hills of Boolcoomatta Station. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
Patter, patter . . . Boolcoomatta,
Adelaide and Oodnadatta,
Peperonga, parched and dry
Laughs beneath a dripping sky.
(From ‘A Song of Rain’ by C. J. Dennis)
Rather than the patter of rain, it was a still evening with fabulous views and a glowing sunset that marked our celebration of the unprecedented partnership that has seen Boolcoomatta Station become Bush Heritage's newest and 24th reserve.
In April new neighbours and the media assembled with representatives of Bush Heritage, the Australian Government and the Nature Foundation SA in the remote north-east pastoral zone of South Australia.
Funding from both the Australian Government's National Reserve System program and the Nature Foundation SA has allowed Bush Heritage to acquire Boolcoomatta without calling on our supporters. We acknowledge this fantastic contribution.
We need your support now, however, as we begin the vital first stages of establishing this new reserve. We must ensure that the infrastructure is sound, animal and plant surveys begin, and control programs for pest plants and animals continue.
On all new reserves we need substantial funds to ensure that our professional staff and volunteers are safe and properly equipped. They work extremely hard to conserve the astonishing land systems, vegetation communities and species within our care. Your donations support them and help to build an endowment that will fund our land management for the long term.
It is our achievements in land management, as well as acquisition, that will determine our success. Thank you for your continuing support. I would like to make special mention of our Friends of the Bush, who give by automatic debit, who responded so generously to our request for additional help in the last newsletter. Thank you.
In conclusion, we're again indebted to our dedicated volunteer Don Royal. Don is currently at Boolcoomatta and has now acted as manager on four reserves. Thank you, Don, and all our volunteers and supporters, whom I acknowledged at the recent launch. Volunteers will be needed at Boolcoomatta this year and I encourage everyone to consider joining the volunteer program. The reserve will be open to visitors in 2007.
Boolcoomatta has wonderful old buildings and provides great opportunities for volunteering, visits and research, all of which we are planning with the Nature Foundation SA.
The sun shone on our launch but, as we packed to leave the next evening, clouds gathered and much-needed rain fell over this drought-stricken landscape. ‘Patter, patter … Boolcoomatta.’
A final word on Hunter Island! The Tasmanian Government has awarded the lease of Hunter Island to a pastoralist from north-west Tasmania. Grazing, the main threat to the island and its rare and endangered species, will continue. Bush Heritage has worked hard to save the island and is deeply disappointed at this decision.
Doug Humann, CEO