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Down to the Valley!

Conservation and land management staff from NPWS, SA Water and Forestry SA sites from around the state migrated down south to the Fleurieu Peninsula in August for the 11th South Australian Ranger Association Annual Migration, held at the Forestry SA Second Valley Depot

This year’s event was the longest and largest yet with 4 nights, 3 days and approximately 75 staff coming together to listen to inspirational guest speakers, participate in tours and working bees within the local region, and meet with likeminded professionals to discuss common issues.

Many hands were put to work on Day One with staff split off for some weeding at Newland Head Conservation Park, some trail maintenance at Deep Creek Cove and some weeding, planting and site clean-up in nearby Forestry SA reserves. In the afternoon the SARA AGM was held, followed by guest speakers who spoke about Forestry SA’s role, Encounter Bay Marine Park and disability access in National Parks. In the evening donated items were up for grabs in the annual auction that raised a whopping $5,500 for the Thin Green Line Foundation and the South Australian Ranger Association to help Rangers in need. A big thank you to all those who donated and dug deep into their pockets to support these great causes!

Working hard at the working bee at Newland Head Conservation Park

On Day Two staff went on tours to the hydrological restoration at Stipiturus Conservation Park, the Wild South Coast Way, a Forestry Fleurieu Swamp and Myponga Reservoir. The day was finished off with a heart-warming presentation by Amanda Dudgeon and a recap of her amazing Walking the Thin Green Line endeavour. Amanda raised over $42,000 to support Rangers across the Oceania Region and filmed conversations with over 500 Rangers throughout her 12 months of travel. We can’t wait to see Amanda’s documentary!

A tour to discuss swamp restoration at Stipiturus Conservation Park

We left Day Three a little smarter having listened to presentations on large scale targeted habitat creation for threatened bird species, the DEW Volunteer Ranger program, the Threatened Plant Action Groups in-situ conservation priorities, improving fire planning and response to protect environmental values, DEW/Forestry SA/Landscapes and PIRSA’s feral deer eradication programs, the evolution of cat control within Middle River and 5 case studies of offset restoration projects in the Mount Lofty Ranges. The event was finished off with a final dinner including the announcements of the photo competition winners and speeches from regional and organisational leaders and the SARA President Tammy Leggett.

As always, participants travelled back to all corners of the state with a smile on their faces after coming together, sharing ideas and stories, networking and meeting new people, and overall remembering we are all working together towards protecting and conserving our beautiful parks and reserves! We hope to see many of you return for the 2024 Annual Migration.

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