Management plan for Kennedy Range National Park released

Submitted: Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 23:46
ThreadID: 57250 Views:3714 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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From WA Government Media Office. Public comment on the draft plan will close in July.

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30 April 2008.
A management plan for Kennedy Range National Park and proposed additions was released today by Environment Minister David Templeman.

Kennedy Range National Park is 150km east of Carnarvon and 15km north of Gascoyne Junction. The park and its proposed additions extend over almost 320,000 hectares.

The proposed additions of 177,377ha were bought through the Gascoyne Murchison Strategy with Commonwealth Government assistance under the Natural Heritage Trust. They comprise the former Mooka pastoral lease and parts of seven other adjoining leases which were announced last September as part of the single biggest addition to the conservation estate in Western Australia’s history.

Mr Templeman said the range was a remarkable landscape feature that rose about 100 metres above the surrounding plain. It was an isolated remnant of an older land surface.

“The park has outstanding geology and scenic beauty,” he said.

“The area is rich in fossils, including rare semi-precious gemstones and mookaite, a kind of jasper.

“The area also provides evidence of the rich pastoral history, including the disused Binthalya homestead and the relics of the old Merlinleigh homestead.”

The Minister said the plan was prepared by the Department of Environment and Conservation on behalf of the Conservation Commission of WA. It was developed in consultation with the local community including surrounding pastoralists.

“The plan includes management strategies for conserving and protecting the natural environment in conjunction with sustainable and low-impact visitor activities,” he said.

“To accommodate increasing visitation, new camping facilities and walk trails are proposed at recreation sites on the east side of the range that are accessible to two-wheel-drive vehicles, while the west side will cater for low-key four-wheel-drive-based camping and exploration."

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Copy of plan here : Management plan for Kennedy Range National Park




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Reply By: psproule - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 05:53

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 05:53
You want to hope it is nothing like the management plan (now in place) for the Kosciusko national park, where access via 4WD is reduced to a few token well graded dirt roads and the rest is totally off limits. Unless you are into horses or mountain bikes of course.
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 10:51

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 10:51
Would suspect that the current access will be maintained. Hopefully it will also include better access into and around the Western portion. A fantastic spot to explore and camp.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 11:02

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 11:02
Duncs,
I've only been there once as a teenager, but may spend a day there later on in the year if I have time.

Here's an extract about the western side.

Recreation Opportunities at the Base of the Western Side.

The landscape of the south-western side of the Range is less
dramatic than the cliffs and gorges of the eastern escarpment,
and is characterised by more vegetation and permanent springs
and streams. The presence of river gums and other tree species
provides welcome shade for picnicking and as a base for
exploring gorges and creeklines. Most sites are best suited to
relatively small numbers of visitors as day-use areas.

Although there are currently no designated sites or facilities for
either day-use or camping along the western side of the Range,
both are occurring, especially around springs, and in particular
the very attractive permanent waters of Chaffcutters Spring and
Mooka Creek (see Map 2).

There is a number of other existing or potential recreation sites
including Yenny Spring, Bullwalya Spring and Pharoah Well
(see Map 2).

All of the existing recreation sites can only cater for small
numbers of visitors because of site constraints. It is therefore
recommended that existing sites be developed for day-use
with facilities such as defined vehicle parking, picnic tables,
barbeques, toilets, walk trailheads and information. In addition,
one large dispersed camping area will be developed with a range
of facilities from small, secluded camp sites to large group
camping sites for tour groups.
A broad area of land at the base of the western side (Yabba
Campground) has the potential to provide a very attractive
setting for camping, bushwalking and nature study. Its proximity
to the Range and Pharoah Well offers opportunities for short
and medium length walks. Furthermore, it is ideally placed to
accommodate visitors via the three existing access routes to
the western side of the Range – via Mardathuna Station, the
Gascoyne River, and over the top of the Range from the eastern
side (see Recreation Opportunities and Access on to the Top of
the Range).

Until such a time as this campground is developed, current
informal and dispersed camping, including campfires, will be
allowed to continue at existing sites unless natural values are
compromised by such use. The Department will ensure that
adequate signage is in place to inform visitors of campfire safety
requirements. The exception to current camping arrangements
(excluding authorised camping for granted mining leases) is
Mooka Creek, which represents part of a regionally significant
Mooka Spring aquatic system, is an unusual ecological
community, and is recognised as an ecosystem at risk. To
protect these natural values, camping at Mooka Creek will be
prohibited and vehicle access across an old track crossing the
creek will be closed. For management purposes, vehicle access
across Mooka Creek will be downstream at the mookaite mining
lease. Once the Yabba Campground is established, all current
informal and dispersed camping, and informal campfires, will
be closed and visitors will be encouraged to make use of the
facilities established at the new site. Concentrating camping
at one site will minimise environmental impacts, particularly
effluent disposal.

Some 10-20 km from the western edge of the Range, but now
within the planning area, are the Mooka homestead and the
disused Binthalya homestead (see Map 2). Mooka homestead is
currently occupied by caretakers but could provide a base for
Departmental staff and visitor accommodation in the future. The
Binthalya homestead has the potential to be developed to offer
commercial accommodation and visitor services.


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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 13:10

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 13:10
Didn't go into the Western side but was invited to do so with some friends of my wife who work in the Canarvon DPI office but had to decline. Only been the once to the LSL Holiday 2006 - Kennedy Ranges (pg 2 & 3)but rate it as one of the nicest places I've visited. Compact and the walks are not to hard and plenty to see. Drive in is good also with a few creek crossings etc.
Dunc
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Reply By: Graham & Ann - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 13:40

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 13:40
Visited the east side 2005, was pretty dry them but we did have rain the day we pulled out. Some nice walks but the place was overrun with wild goats, you could smell them for miles before getting to the gorges, could be a few $$$ to be made if they would only allow the goat hunters in to round them up and ship them off. But if it's it is here in Vic., will only allow shooters in to ciull but they can't take the carcass to sell off, mate went for weekend recently in mid west vic, his crew shot well over 200 in 2 days and all meat went to waste, what shame what a waste.
AnswerID: 301982

Reply By: Old Dave - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 15:21

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 15:21
I and my family lived in Gascoyne Junction during the 70s the Kennedy Ranges were a part of my workplace and was a popular spot for a day out with the kids and a picnic, it still remains one of my favourite places.
I have been back there a number of times over the years and have even taken a couple of the grandkids out there camping, great time had by all!
Have never been to the West side but look forward going there one day.
Dave
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Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 17:52

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 17:52
Beaut place to spend a few days Alan but as someone above has said, I hope they do the right thing and get rid of the feral goats. They are there in their thousands. The only thing louder than their bleating was Dunc snoring! (We were camped there the same time in 06) It'll take a couple of helicopters and a couple of weeks to herd or shoot them. God only knows what sort of damage they're doing to the areas. Loved the walks into the various gorges.
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Cheers. Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - John L (WA) - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 09:56

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 09:56
It is a fascinating place. Just this summer 2 pilots were killed while rounding up the goats. Plane v helicopter - helicopter survived but both on plane died - good local blokes. Took a while to reach them as went down in very inaccessable spot. Cheers Heather
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