Nature rehab begins
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.