A 10-year management plan for one of the nation’s most significant wildlife conservation areas was released in Albany today.
The plan covers the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, 35 km east of Albany on the State’s south coast.
Two Peoples Bay gained international attention 35 years ago when a species of bird, the Noisy Scrub-bird, thought to have been extinct for 72 years, was rediscovered.
The area again hit the international spotlight in December, 1994 with the rediscovery of a small native mammal, Gilbert s potoroo, which was last recorded 125 years before.
Launching the management plan today, Environment Minister Peter Foss also released a recovery plan for the Noisy Scrub-bird.
Mr Foss said the release of both plans reflected the integrated approach that was a hallmark of Western Australia s conservation management.
Few management plans had attracted a higher level of public interest than the Two Peoples Bay plan.
A draft plan, released for public comment three years ago, attracted 79 substantial submissions from individuals, community organisations, Government agencies and industry. A further 50 people signed ‘proformas .
Mr Foss said the Government had accepted a recommendation of the National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority in December, 1994 that the area should become a national park.
National parks are managed for wildlife conservation, landscape conservation, scientific study, preservation of features of archaeological, historic or scientific interest, along with recreational enjoyment by the public," he said.
"Two Peoples Bay meets these criteria for national parks. It is internationally recognised for its high conservation values, particularly due to the presence of the Noisy Scrub-bird, Gilbert's potoroo and other rare birds.
"It is also an important area for scientific study and provides opportunities for public recreation and enjoyment that do not threaten its conservation values.
"A change to national park status will ensure that the conservation values of the area are protected while allowing the public to legitimately visit the area in a controlled way."
The plan - which covers the next 10 years - emphasises the high conservation value of the reserve.
The primary goal is the on-going conservation of native flora and fauna, particularly birds listed as threatened and the more recently rediscovered Gilbert s potoroo.
The plan outlines special conservation, natural environment and recreation zones. Recreation on a day-use basis will be permitted so long as it not conflict with the primary goal.
Fire management, which has been crucial to the recovery of species such as the Noisy Scrub-bird, also receives a high priority. Providing information, interpretation and education also were priority issues in the plan.
"The reserve attracts almost 40,000 visitors a year so it is important that we provide facilities that will enhance their appreciation and understanding of the area," the Minister said.
"A recent $190,000 grant from the Commonwealth Government will be used to build a visitor information centre."
Media contacts: Ministerial: Peter Harris (09) 321 2222 or (09) 222 9595
CALM: John Watson/Kelly Gillen (098) 424 500