Page 216 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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 5.2 Victorian Murray system
Traditional Owner cultural values and uses
The wetlands and surrounding land in the central Murray region are rich in cultural heritage, with sites and artefacts
of cultural practices present throughout the landscape.
The rivers and floodplains are valued as food and fibre sources and contain many sites of significance such as camp sites and meeting places. Environmental watering supports values such as native fish, waterbirds and turtles, and promotes the growth of culturally important plants
that provide food, medicine and weaving materials. The presence of water itself can be a cultural value, as well as the quality of the water, as healthy water promotes a healthy Country.
Barapa Barapa, Wamba Wemba and Yorta Yorta Traditional Owners have contributed to environmental water planning for wetlands important to them in the central Murray region in 2020-21. Focus areas include:
• Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners have highlighted maintaining or improving the health of wetland vegetation as a key priority across the wetlands. Watering activities in Guttrum Forest will again be a particular focus for Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba Traditional Owners in 2020–21 (as described below)
• North Central CMA and Barapa Barapa Traditional Owners have collaborated to deliver the DELWP- funded Decision-Support Tool project, which is guiding vegetation works at McDonalds Swamp, and Lake Leaghur and Lake Yando (sites within the Boort wetlands, see section 5.7.2). This has allowed them
to align watering actions in these wetlands with the watering requirements of the revegetation and enabled monitoring to be completed by Barapa Barapa
• North Central CMA and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation have considered watering priorities for 2020–21, with a particular focus on Richardsons Lagoon. The Yorta Yorta Traditional Owners are supportive of the current drying phase in the lagoon, and its objectives of aerating sediment, reducing carp and providing a boost to productivity when water returns.
Waterway managers are seeking opportunities to increase the involvement of Traditional Owners in environmental water planning and management. Where Traditional Owners are more deeply involved in the planning and/or delivery of environmental flows for a particular site, their contribution is acknowledged in Table 5.2.8 with an icon.
Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba input to watering actions for Guttrum Forest in 2020–21
The proposed delivery of water for the environment to Guttrum Forest during 2020–21 has been planned in conjunction with the Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba peoples, for whom the wetlands and surrounding forest are places of high cultural significance. The Traditional Owners have been an important part of Guttrum Forest planning and management from the outset and were directly involved in the delivery of environmental flows to Reed Bed Swamp in 2019–20.
Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba collaborate with waterway managers to ensure that during watering events their cultural heritage is protected and that the hydrological needs of important cultural values (such as food and medicinal plant species, scar trees and ring trees) are supported through the timing and duration of planned watering actions to the forest.
The Traditional Owners advised that filling Guttrum
Forest in winter 2020 and a top-up in spring would be appropriate timing to support large old trees and bird breeding. Additional watering in autumn/winter 2021 was recommended to prime the wetland for fills in the 2021–22 water year, to increase the duration of wetting.
Table 5.2.7 outlines the values and uses considered in the planning and management of watering at Guttrum Forest in 2020–21.
   Watering planned and/or delivered in partnership with Traditional Owners to support Aboriginal cultural values and uses
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