This memorandum of understanding (MOU) formalises the commitment of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Office of Environment and Heritage, to work in partnership with the Gawambaraay Pilliga Co-Management Committee to manage of the Pilliga Nature Reserve, the Pilliga East (Willala) Aboriginal Area and the Dandry Gorge Aboriginal Area.
The Gawambaraay Pilliga Co-Management Committee is made up of Elders and representatives from local Aboriginal communities – Gawambaraay is the local dialect used by traditional owners of the area covered by the three reserves. The main focus of this MOU is to identify and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in the three reserves and support continued connection to Country of the local Gamilaraay people.
The Pilliga Nature Reserve covers over 80,000 hectares between Coonabarabran and Narrabri in the southern area of the Pilliga Forest. Willala Aboriginal Area adjoins the nature reserve to the northeast and has an area of 1347 hectares, and Dandry Gorge Aboriginal Area adjoins the nature reserve to the west and has an area of 382 hectares. The remainder of the Pilliga Forest (about 340,000 hectares), is made up of national parks, state conservation areas and forested private lands, and is not encompassed within this MOU.
Date agreement was signed: original MOU March 2004, updated MOU August 2006