Protecting our National Parks – New 10 year plan for Kalbarri NP

Callum LoveBiodiversity, Northampton

Natures Window, Kalbarri National Park

The State Government has released a 10-year management plan for Kalbarri National Park, one of Western Australia’s most visited and environmentally diverse areas.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the park’s spectacular landscapes received more than 300,000 visits a year.

“Kalbarri is one of the State’s most popular national parks with its rugged gorges and scenic lookouts over the Murchison River providing opportunities for a diverse range of activities such as bushwalking, nature appreciation, canoeing, abseiling and rock climbing,” Mr Jacob said.

“It is home to more than 1,000 species of native plants – the third-highest number recorded in a WA national park – unique geological features and 75 species of reptiles.

“Kalbarri National Park is also an important site for wildlife conservation. The chuditch, an endangered species, was successfully reintroduced in 2000 and there is potential for the reintroduction of other locally extinct species.”

The Minister said the new management plan would guide recreation, tourism and the protection of biodiversity and cultural heritage in Kalbarri National Park for the next decade.

“The plan includes key performance indicators for managing flora and fauna, threatened species, fire, weeds, pest animals and the protection of cultural and historic heritage,” he said.

“There is a long history of use by traditional owners in the area and the park, especially the Murchison River, which is culturally significant for the Nanda people, and there is a concentration of Aboriginal heritage sites along the river.  The management plan provides an opportunity for greater engagement and collaboration with Nanda.”

The State Government, under the Royalties for Regions program, last year completed $7.7 million in improvements at Kalbarri National Park, including a $5.8 million upgrade to part of the Loop-Z Bend access road and new facilities such as shade shelters, lookouts, walking trails, visitor information areas, an emergency telephone, sealed car parks and toilets.

Article source: Australian Government media statement