Track work with Chris

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This week at Macquarie Island: 31 May 2013

I’ve been out and about a fair bit in recent times undertaking repairs to some of the walking tracks on the island. Whenever possible, walking around the sensitive landscape of Macca is confined to the walking tracks. Walking tracks are usually confined to harder rocky terrain, but often tracks will cross more sensitive areas.

Occasionally, repairs are required to be undertaken in order to repair damage or limit further damage occurring. Over the last year or two, stockpiles of timber decking have been flown into different locations by helicopter during the island's summer resupply. The sites selected have been identified by previous rangers as being sensitive and prone to damage by foot traffic. Progressively, the works program has migrated to each of these locations and narrow sections of the double plank walkway have been constructed. 

Completing some of these remediation works before the onset of winter will ensure that nature's regenerative power will kick in as the weather warms up in the coming spring. The vegetation on Macca is really starting to show signs of regeneration with the removal of rabbits. 

People are always looking for a chance to get off station or vary their tasks a little for the day and I’m always glad of a helping hand and a bit of company. Aaron wrote a story about helping out just recently titled 'ranger step aerobics’

Working on the Island Lake track, FTO Marty dropped in for a few hours and lent a hand with the laying of timber decking. Karen and Nick from the MIPEP team also dropped by to help for the day – a welcome change to their routine after scouring the landscape for any sign of rabbits. Nick particularly enjoyed swinging the sledge, relishing the chance to do a proper bit of physical work. The hunting dogs took the moment to have a well earned break.

Chris, standing almost knee deep in mud and next to some unfinished boardwalk, pausing for a moment  to work out the best way to get the job done
Chris pausing for a moment to work out the best way to…
(Photo: Marty Benevente)
The tall and the short of it. Nick and Chris hard at it constructing a new section of track over some bog. Chris is knee deep in mud while Nick stands by with a sledge hammer in one hand ready to get a sweat up
The tall and the short of it. Nick and Chris hard at…
(Photo: Karen Andrew)
View of the new boardwalk track on the Island Lake Track near Scoble Lake. Nick can be seen some way down the track helping to fix wire netting to the boards for more traction
Nick helping to fix wire netting to new track section on the…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
Finn, the MIPEP hunting dog (white labrador) is taking a well earned break in the foreground. In the background Chris, knee deep in mud is holding a post while Nick is just about to strike the top of the post with a sledge hammer
Finn, the MIPEP hunting dog is taking a well earned break -…
(Photo: Karen Andrew)
Finn, the MIPEP hunting dog (white labrador) lifting his head to see if itís time to go back to work yet. Nick can be seen in the background carrying some timber on his shoulder for the new board walk track
Back to rabbit hunting yet?
(Photo: Karen Andrew)
The new finished board walk track. protecting sensitive vegetation. 130 metres of track was laid.
The finished job - newly laid track protecting sensitive vegetation. On this…
(Photo: Chris Howard)
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