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Adventurous Volunteers raft down the upper Murrumbidgee River.  Photo by Rohan Thomson/Pew Pew Studio.
Adventurous Volunteers raft down the upper Murrumbidgee River. Photo by Rohan Thomson/Pew Pew Studio.

Bushtracks Spring 2021

Published 07 Oct 2021

Australians have a precarious relationship with water. When there's plenty, life is good, but when there is little, we're reminded just how essential to all life this finite resource is.

For this edition’s cover story, we visited the upper Murrumbidgee River where it winds through Ngunnawal and Ngarigo country south of Canberra.

In recent years, this upper section of the river has suffered from the cumulative effects of land clearing, nutrient runoff, bushfires and climate change. But a community-driven effort to reverse those effects is underway.

Farmers, landowners, governments and conservation groups including Bush Heritage are working together to restore the waterway – each acting out of different interests, but together working towards a shared goal.

Collaboration is a thread that winds through every story. Dharawal woman Danika Davis takes us on a traditional fire walk through the Uunguu Indigenous Protected Area in the Kimberley of Western Australia.

Our founder Bob Brown champions the power of people to stem the tide of environmental loss. And science writer Bron Willis explores how, by partnering with the University of Sydney, we're learning to better care for our reserves on Wangkamadla country in far western Queensland.

In July, Wangkamadla people’s rights to over 2.9 million hectares of their country were formally recognised in a native title determination.

To celebrate this event, we're renaming our Cravens Peak Reserve as Pilungah Reserve.

This change recognises Wangkamadla people’s enduring connection to their land in a way that is meaningful to them and has been agreed upon through close consultation with the Wangkamadla community.

On 11 October, around the time this edition lands in your inbox or letterbox, Bush Heritage will celebrate its 30th birthday. This is a chance for us to reflect on the past and look at who we're becoming.

As Bob points out in his article, our future will need to involve some risks if we're to protect this country that supports and nourishes us.

There is so much at stake, but there is much to gain, too. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Heather RoundSignature Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell, Chief Executive Officer.

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Adventurous volunteers on the Murrumbidgee River. Photo Rohan Thomson/Pew Pew Studio.

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A river in recovery

The bushfires of January 2020 left Australia’s second longest river, the Murrumbidgee, thick with ash and silt. Now, its waters are clearer thanks to a community-led effort to restore its health.

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