The Laura Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers manage the Agarra Timara Aboriginal freehold land. Additionally, they undertake cultural and environmental conservation activities on five surrounding properties. The total area managed is 202,133 hectares, or approximately 780 square miles. In consultation with community and Elders, the Rangers developed a statement of vision for Country. Entitled Laura River Dreaming, the core elements of this vision include:
- Document and protect cultural sites.
- Keep our waters clean. Maintain environmental flows, monitor nutrient and sediment loads.
- Exclude mining from our cultural landscape.
- Protect our plants and animals from introduced species and harmful fire practices.
- Plan our land use, roads and fence lines to reduce erosion.
- Use our natural resources sustainably.
- Help our children become wise in Traditional and Academic knowledge.
- Develop partnerships to better understand and manage our country.
- Develop a strong local economy based around ecotourism.
- Work together to preserve this special place for future generations.
The Rangers Role With Rock Art
One of the Rangers’ main projects is the recording and protection of cultural and rock art sites.
The Rangers have received training in managing visitor impacts at cultural sites, and in rock art recording and conservation. For the traditional owners, these sites are the stories of their ancestors, held in trust for children and future generations.
At least once a term the Rangers take Laura State School students out to country, usually to visit a cultural site. They also provide guided tours to visitors from around Australia and the world. These can be booked through the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre.
The Rangers always ensure the Elders consent to where they are going and what they are doing. Strong community support is the Rangers’ greatest asset.
Whenever requested, the Laura Rangers share knowledge with traditional owners and other ranger groups. Learning from each other helps us all care for our country.