Murujuga Land & Sea Unit
The Murujuga Land & Sea Unit (MLSU) began as the Murujuga Ranger Pilot project in 2012. The Land and Sea Unit was established as an important part of the land and sea management of the Murujuga National Park and the surrounding National Heritage Listed area.
Although MSLU is a part of MAC is has its own strategic plan. The team takes cultural advice and guidance through the MAC Circle of Elders (CoE). The unit comprises of a Manager, Team Coordinators, Team Leaders, Office Manager, Cultural Mentor/Logistics Officer, and Ranger Team. Supporting the capacity building for the unit are various technical contractors delivering training components necessary for supporting the park.
MLSU is focussed on the operational aspects of managing land and sea country. The MSLU Strategic Plan (2014) outlines the aims of objectives of the Unit. The Murujuga National Park Management Plan 78, (2013) and more recently the Murujuga Cultural Management Plan (2015) guides the annual works programme of the unit.
The work of the Rangers includes welcoming people to the land and sea country and briefing visitors so that the land and culture is respected, and also to ensure the visitors are accepted by the spirits in the landscape. Ranger work also involves patrolling the land and sea to monitor visitor impacts – through new tracks, removing rubbish that is affecting the safety of marine life, ensuring minimal interference of pets on sacred sites, identification, and removal of graffiti on rock art sites, and general compliance with the laws of the National Park. Rangers also monitor and remove feral pests and weeds and take care of wildlife. The Rangers use 4wd vehicles, all-terrain vehicles on land and the Topaz, a commercial survey vessel to carry out their work on sea patrols. Together with the Department of Parks and Wildlife they engage in various training to build capacity to support the park.
The MLSU maintain a sophisticated data collection and interactive mapping platform to support their “On Country Land and Sea Patrols”. The Rangers use custom designed APPS Iform on rugged tablets, linked to a mapping platform that visualises the information collected on patrol. This includes observations of plants and domestic pets, visitor activity, cultural information, impacts and threats. The mapping system allows the rangers to see how their data relates to any other data set. With this they can search any day or month to plan and manage the MNP .The system allows the integration of complex datasets from researchers or planners, as well as serving for their community archives, stories, photos, videos, supporting the operations of the Murujuga Cultural Management Plan. Using GIS and developed apps, the MAC Ranger Team patrols the land and sea country every day.