Using helicopters to map waterholes and put waru (fire) into the country
Last year Thelma Judson from Parnngurr invited the KJ rangers out to help map her country. KJ is in the process of planning a helicopter trip out to the Percival Lakes to make this happen. The Punmu rangers will run a camp out at Mulyarlkirri and Martu from a number of communities will participate in the trip.
As Mulyarlkirri is such a long way to go, the team will also map some of the country to the north-west with Muuki and Waka Taylor. The team will spend a week at Mulyarlkirri mapping waterholes and at the same time conduct aerial and on-ground burning with waru man (Fire officer Gareth Catt). The rangers will also visit and log nearby waterholes and if possible run a track from Mulyarlkirri, south along the lakes, to Wirnpa.
In the second week the team will move camp to Kunawarritji for a another week of waterhole mapping this time with elders Kumpaya Girgirba and Bugai Whyoutier. The Kunawarritji ranger team will be involved in the camp and will also undertake waru (fire) work.
It is very important to take elders back to their waterholes and using a helicopter is the most efficient way to locate these sites, many of which have not been visited for decades. After the waterholes are located, it is much easier for the ranger teams to make over-land tracks to these important sites to monitor and care for them.