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Kleinfelder Trains Indigenous Rangers in Using Fire for Biodiversity and Risk Management

Monday, 18 July 2016

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Kleinfelder Trains Indigenous Rangers in Using Fire for Biodiversity and Risk ManagementNewcastle, Australia – Dan Pedersen is a Kleinfelder Ecologist and certified Bushfire Engineer from our Newcastle (NSW) office.

Over the past three years Dan has actively been developing fire ecology services, and has been recognized as a skilled industry practitioner.

He was recently engaged by Local Land Services (LLS, a State land management authority) to provide a three-day ecology and bushfire training course, directed to local Indigenous Rangers from 3 Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALC).

“Our reputation in the local area was acknowledged through being given this opportunity to provide training services to the LALCs and Indigenous Rangers.  We worked closely with the NSW RFS to develop understanding of fire and ecology for the Rangers and their respected LALCs”.

Following the three-day training course, Dan presented on Fire and Ecology at a three-day Traditional Burning Workshop held at Yula Punaal, an Aboriginal Education and Healing Centre.

The workshop focused on the spiritual benefits of burning ‘Country,’ and which has broader landscape benefits of land health, increased biodiversity, and wildfire risk management.

This workshop included a Traditional Burning demonstration on Aboriginal lands, on Country that has not had traditional burn for generations. The day commenced with a traditional smoking ceremony and ‘Welcome to Country’ from a local Elder who spoke about the spiritual and ecological benefits of Traditional Burning throughout the day.

“The opportunity to be involved in a workshop led by Victor Stephenson, a nationally recognized Traditional Burning Man, was a highlight," reflected Dan. "What I learnt over those three days was immense, and there is so much more to learn from the traditional fire techniques.”

“I am taking my learnings from this workshop, and will apply them to Bushfire Planning services. I can see great opportunities for this with regards to wildfire risk management and biodiversity management”

The Training Course and Workshop have been important for career development and networking opportunities, exposing Kleinfelder and Dan to senior members of the NSW Rural Fire Services (RFS), Local Councils, the LLS and the LALCs, and recognized national Fire Experts.

About Kleinfelder
Kleinfelder has been connecting great people to the best work since 1961. We are engineers, scientists, and construction professionals providing solutions that improve our clients’ transportation, water, energy, and other private infrastructure. As an integrated, cross-disciplinary team of bright, curious, and innovative problem-solvers, we are dedicated to doing the right thing, every day, on every project from over 60 offices in the US, Canada and Australia.