Issues Magazine

Articles about outback

Protecting the Heart of Our Country

By Barry Traill

With wilderness areas across the globe rapidly disappearing, Australia’s outback remains one of the last great natural places on Earth. How do we manage our wild lands into the future?

The ranger walks slowly down the track, stopping to touch his flaming torch to the dry grass every few paces. The flames flick up and start to crawl through the savannah grasslands, turning the grass to ash and scorching the lower leaves of the eucalypts. After lighting up along a few hundred metres of a faint four wheel drive track, Nigel meets back up with colleagues doing similar work down the way and they casually return to their vehicle and to camp for the evening. The fire burns slowly on into the bush.