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Rangers in the Rangelands

8 September 2020

Aboriginal Rangers from the Goldfields Land and Sea Council (GLSC) have continued to harvest sandalwood across the Rangelands as part of an ongoing FPC contract.

The State Government developed the Aboriginal Ranger Program to create jobs, training and community development opportunities through managing lands across Western Australia.

Aboriginal Engagement Manager Ben Sawyer said that the GLSC contract was the prototype for the Sandalwood Dreaming program where regeneration works were expanded to include harvesting. Sandalwood Dreaming is an action of the FPC’s Reconciliation Action Plan to increase Aboriginal economic participation in the timber industry.

“Uniquely, GLSC are operating on ex-pastoral, unallocated Crown Land that was purchased by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for conservation purposes. The GLSC operation demonstrates that sandalwood harvesting and regeneration can co-exist with conservation objectives,” Mr. Sawyer said.

“The Rangers are all local Aboriginal people working on their own country and with sandalwood, which has ancient ties to their culture.”

“This has been a great outcome for all involved, and we look forward to working with GLSC to develop their sandalwood business.”

The FPC is in discussion with several other Ranger groups and expects to have more co-operative partnerships in the future.