Our second informal visit to our study area involved a couple of in-depth conversations with park rangers and a tour of the admin facilities at Tidal River, the main hub of operations at Wilson’s Prom. It was more a visit to keep in touch with our project partners at Parks Victoria, but there were still some very useful findings that went along with the stunning scenery.

Location Types

One of the key things I am hoping to find out through my formal (ethics approved) research is how various people in the park view locations in the park.

Much of the ecological research about the Prom can be classified as being applicable to Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC’s) – an Australia-wide classification scheme that represents various types of landscapes. There are around 70 of these categories, and any ecological research conducted in natural environments can be said to be applicable to one or more of these classifications.

EVC’s could represent one way of viewing regions of the park, and one way of categorising and delivering knowledge about those areas. However, we discussed a need to discover the rangers’ own classification of areas in the park, as is relevant to their day-to-day tasks. Whilst scientific classification schemes like EVC’s will be relevant to rangers at times, it’s probably not their primary model for understanding the Prom, and there are likely to be interesting and significant differences on an individual ranger level in this regard. Primarily it will be important to discover how they classify locations in the Park through the prism of fire management.

What is emerging out of this so far though is the fact that there is a lot of knowledge and information about a park, but that without an intelligent application of context to that information it is practically inaccessible. A large part of that context is location, and people are likely to have both commonly-held representations of areas, as well as fairly unique inidividual differences. It will be important to understand both and strike a balance between the two.


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