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Australian Aboriginal Culture & Didgeridoo News and Articles:

Didgeridoo Conservation Tags.

Didgeridoo harvesting and tagging.

CALM ( Department of Conservation and Land Management in WA ) has introduced an innovative procedure regarding the harvesting of Mallee stems for Didgeridoos.

All the stems cut need to be fitted with a plastic number tag in order to control the industry. This tag is fitted to the stem by drilling a small hole at the base of the Didgeridoo. This hole can be filled later with beeswax, wood-putty or wood-glue.

This pilot system is aimed at reducing the number of stems cut illegally and achieving sustainability in the harvesting of Didgeridoos from the Goldfield region. This system could be extended to every region of Australia in the future.

Wandoo is fully committed to the respect of the environment and welcome this measure, and will endeavour to do our best to make sure that this system works. We still advocate measures like the ban of chainsaws in harvesting to reduce the pressure on the environment. Another area that we feel is overlooked is the non-involvement of the traditional Aboriginal land-owners.

The following is from a CALM document about Didgeridoo harvesting.

Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Didgeri-doos and Don'ts.

Historically Didgeridoos were produced in West Arnhem Land for ceremonial rituals, such as corroborees. In more recent times didgeridoos have been produced in large numbers all over the country to meet the ever increasing demand for the product both as an instrument and as an ornament. As a result of the increasing demand for didgeridoos new areas are being sourced as suitable harvesting sites.

Where can stems be legally harvested?

The Goldfields and a small area in the Midwest region are currently the only areas where Eucalyptus can be legally sourced for the production of didgeridoos from Crown land. These areas contain suitable sites for harvesting stems for didgeridoos. Such is the expanse of these areas that Eucalyptus stems can be selectively harvested without causing irreparable damage to the species or the landscape within the cutting sites. A Commercial Purposes License and endorsement must be obtained to take any flora from Crown land, including didgeridoos. The flora must be taken in accordance with certain conditions which have been set to ensure harvesting is sustainable.

Didgeridoos may also be harvested from private property by obtaining written permission form the landowner and a Commercial Producers License from the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM).

Tags and Royalties.

As well as the need for a license from CALM, a royalty tag is required from CALM which must be affixed to the base of the didgeridoo once it has been cut. This tag is to remain on the didgeridoo even at the point of sale.

Dealers and Wholesalers.

Retailers and wholesalers have a legal obligation to ensure that any flora including didgeridoos bought and sold have been obtained legally. Any person trading in protected flora including didgeridoos must keep a written record of the type and quantity of flora they purchase, the date of the purchase and the name and address of the supplier. These records must be retained for at least twelve months and shown to a Wildlife Officer on demand.

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