Ten years ago on the 27th March 2006, Bush Heritage Australia became the custodians of Boolcoomatta Station, now Boolcoomatta Station Reserve.
Over the decade there's been a fantastic commitment by Bush Heritage and all the reserve managers and support staff. Don Royal arrived first, followed by Paul and Bec O'Leary, Peter and Emma Ashton, Glen Norris and now myself with support from my wife Karen and our kids, Asha, Clay and Zavier.
So many people have been involved with the establishment, planning, maintenance, monitoring, reporting, communicating, fundraising and the list goes on and on.
For all the people who have supported activities at Boolcoomatta, well done and thank you!
We had a small celebration on Sunday (ten years to the day) and were fortunate to have our neighbours from Wompine, Langdon and Genny Badger, Ron and Di Davies (valued reserve support) and Jin and John Douglas (volunteers for Bush Heritage) and ourselves (teaching support).
There have been numerous achievements at Boolcoomatta over the ten years of ownership and management. Some broad statistics include:
- tens of thousands of weeds have been removed
- over 1,500 foxes removed
- over 200 goats removed
- many artificial water points closed down
- over 7,000 rabbit warrens ripped, removing tens of thousands of rabbits
- hundreds of kilometres of internal fences removed
- all the infrastructure plant and equipment has been maintained and improved
- thousands of visitors
- tens of thousands of volunteer hours
- dozens of fundraising trips
- hundreds of campers
- dozens of ecological surveys and monitoring
- erosion control
- hydrological restoration
- cultural values surveys and management
- and heaps of great community engagement with neighbours and traditional owners.
So what now?
At present we're doing all the necessary preliminary work for the next five-year management plan, while maintaining our existing program.
Some of our primary ongoing strategies include: weed control, feral animal control, managing grazing pressure by rabbits, infrastructure repairs, maintenance and improvements, cultural values survey collation and management, erosion control and community engagement. And our camp ground and facilities continue to attract more visitors and volunteers annually.
Many lessons have been learnt and great achievements made in only ten short years. It's very exciting that we can be in a position to plan and then implement our management actions for the next ten years with support from the Bush Heritage family, while sharing our knowledge with the broader rangelands and neighbouring communities.