Back to Rick Farley Reserve

Follow up fieldwork to help understand the relationship between cultural burning practices and soil health.

Walking with the fire at Rick Farley Reserve

Staff from the Soil and Landscape Assessment team (SaLAT) recently travelled out to Rick Farley Soil Conservation Reserve (RFR) near Pooncarie in south-west NSW to revisit 2 past cultural burning sites. The sites were burnt in 2020 and 2021, at which time the team collected information and soil samples immediately before and after each burn. The sites were resampled on this visit to look for longer term changes in soil health as a result of the cultural burns.

More information about the project can be viewed at Burning for health.

Burning for health

Our work at Rick Farley Soil Conservation Reserve relates to an Environmental Trust project awarded to Mothers Ancestral Guardians Indigenous Corporation (MAGIC) that is looking at what impact cultural burning has on soil health and the cultural connection between soil and healthy Country. Soil and Landscape Assessment team are a key collaborator providing soil science expertise to the project.

Joining Soil and Landscape Assessment team staff and members of MAGIC on this field trip were some of the Banbai Rangers from Guyra who are undertaking cultural burns on the northern tablelands. They came out to Rick Farley Soil Conservation Reserve to participate in burning activities and for sharing of knowledge and cultural burning experiences.

The Banbai Rangers are providing us with an opportunity to monitor and sample some of their cultural burns in the north of the state to compare and contrast with the results from our project work at Rick Farley Soil Conservation Reserve. Watch out for more on our work on Banbai Country in a future news update. In the meantime, more about some of the Banbai Rangers' work can be viewed at Banbai on Vimeo.

Banbai on Vimeo

Soil and Landscape Assessment team acknowledge and pay respect to the Ngiyampaa, Mutthi Mutthi and Barkindji/Paakantji people of the Lake Mungo region and the Banbai people of the Guyra region on whose Country we are working. We thank you for sharing your deep cultural wisdom.