Reward for Oak Valley park rangers

AWARD WIN: Oak Valley team members Stephen Rapp, Juanita Thorpe and Sylvia Boogar were thrilled to receive the Indigenous Lands Management Award at the 2019 South Australian Landcare Awards. Picture: Supplied

AWARD WIN: Oak Valley team members Stephen Rapp, Juanita Thorpe and Sylvia Boogar were thrilled to receive the Indigenous Lands Management Award at the 2019 South Australian Landcare Awards. Picture: Supplied

The impressive work of Oak Valley park rangers has been recognised with an award win at the 2019 South Australian Landcare Awards.

Oak Valley took out the Indigenous Lands Management Award, which acknowledges an outstanding Indigenous community group or individual working towards improving land use and enhancing or protecting an area on behalf of the community.

Maralinga Lands and Oak Valley Community general manager Sharon Yendall said the award win brought pride to the community.

"We are ecstatic with this win and proud of our rangers," she said.

"They have been recognised from other parties who have submitted a nomination to show the work being achieved, and the Oak Valley Council is proud and so is the whole community."

There are six rangers who work in the region for four days a week, while the operation is overseen by land management coordinator Stephen Rapp and land management women's coordinator Juanita Thorpe.

She said the rangers carried out a number of tasks across the area, including burning off sections of land, monitoring and documenting flora and fauna such as the malleefowl, monitoring of camels and other feral animals, checking permits and managing buffel grass.

Mr Rapp said the team covered an area of 134,000 square kilometres, or 12 per cent of South Australia.

He said rangers were working hard on the land every day so they were "proud and honoured" to be recognised with the award.

"It is very difficult to monitor the whole area, and at times we need helicopters as the land is so massive," Mr Rapp said.

"We also have a pool of around 30 casual rangers who will help with bigger projects like quandong tree monitoring."

Mr Rapp said the Oak Valley team had an exciting project in the pipeline to aid native animals.

"We are looking at doing an inland animal sanctuary, a fenced-off area that would be pest free," he said.

"If it goes ahead it will be the first one on Aboriginal soil, as others are on national parks and private land, and we are getting motivated about that."

He said rangers were also continuing their training and would do more sessions in the new year.

Landcare Australia chief executive officer Dr Shane Norrish commended recipients of the South Australian Landcare Awards on their outstanding accomplishments.

"It's an honour to be able to recognise the great work being carried out by our Landcare champions in South Australia," he said.

"The Landcare Awards program provides landcarers the ideal opportunity to get together and celebrate the individual and collective achievements of landcare in the community."