Na­ture re­hab be­gins

Pilbara News - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

In the Pil­bara if you see a track and there are no warn­ing signs posted, chances are you’re go­ing to drive down that track.

Left unchecked, this kind of be­hav­iour is wreck­ing the sub­stance of what makes four-wheeldriv­ing so en­joy­able, the ter­rain.

Mu­ru­juga Na­tional Park was the WA’s 100th de­clared na­tional park and en­com­passes 44 per cent of the Bur­rup Penin­sula.

It has both well-known and hid­den rock art cov­er­ing nearly ev­ery inch of land, hun­dreds of sa­cred sites, wa­ter holes, and 88 dif­fer­ent species of mam­mals, rep­tiles and am­phib­ians.

As the park moves to­wards try­ing to achieve world her­itage recog­ni­tion, for­mal sig­nage has be­gun to spring up as the joint man­agers Mu­ru­juga Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife, and Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs, look to en­act the park’s man­age­ment plan which was cre­ated in 2013.

The aim of the plan is to con­serve Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tural, ar­chae­o­log­i­cal, nat­u­ral, and recre­ational val­ues.

This has meant ve­hi­cle ac­cess within and around the park is be­ing re­viewed with the view to clos­ing some tracks while re­tain­ing oth­ers for recre­ational users.

One of the first tracks to be closed is the sand dune on the last big bend lead­ing into Hear­son’s Cove.

The dune of­fers a nice lit­tle view of the beach but has been heav­ily eroded.

Us­ing some fund­ing from Wood­side, a team of cul­tural rangers from the Mu­ru­juga Land and Sea Unit, to­gether with Parks and Wildlife rep­re­sen­ta­tives, such as Mu­ru­juga oper­a­tions of­fi­cer Eleanor Killen, will work to­gether to re­ha­bil­i­tate ar­eas of the park, like this dune, as well as in­ves­ti­gat­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to es­tab­lish ar­eas for visi­tor recre­ation.

Ms Killen said they would use jute mesh and sand fences to keep the loose ma­te­rial from blow­ing away as well as plant na­tive species to sta­bilise the dune sys­tem.

With­out this work the dune will con­tinue to de­grade.

There’s no end date to how long the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for this one piece of the park will take, but it will be on­go­ing.

It’s a tight line the rangers and oth­ers will walk in the next few years, but if for­mal­is­ing and shar­ing the knowl­edge of a highly sa­cred and glob­ally sig­nif­i­cant site like the Bur­rup means the clo­sure of a few tracks, then at least it will leave some­thing for ev­ery­one to en­joy.

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