Environment Three Mountains DGO

As bushwalkers most of us have a strong love and respect for the natural environment. We want to do what we can to protect it. Our Club works with HikeWest to promote an awareness of conservation and other issues of special relevance to our Western Australian bushwalking environment. We also take care to ensure our activities have minimum impact on the environment.

Throughout its history, Perth Bushwalkers Club has been actively involved in conservation campaigns, including the late 1970’s campaign against the expansion of bauxite mining across the Darling Range near Perth and the 1980’s campaign to end logging in the old growth forests of the southwest.

We have long supported the Conservation Council of WA. In some cases however, conservation attitudes have overlooked the benefits that bushwalking can have for community health and environmental awareness and have resulted in compromising or even blocking our access to bushwalking areas. The following are a few examples where the Club and conservation movement viewpoints are not aligned:

  • Prescribed burns- Wild fires are a hazard to bushwalkers in the bushfire season. The Club generally supports the system of hazard reduction burns conducted by DBCA Parks and Wildlife.
  • Wilderness areas– These areas can be inaccessible and hazardous for bushwalking. The creation of wilderness areas restricts hazard reduction burns and excludes vehicle access. Bush without tracks that have not been thinned in hazard reduction burns is often impassable on foot, and in WA’s arid countryside road access is often vital for ensuring in advance that adequate water sources are available along a long walk route.
  • Drinking water catchment areas- Regulations aimed at the conservation and protection of drinking water catchment areas unreasonably restrict access by bushwalkers.

More recently, in 2014 the Perth Bushwalkers Club made a submission into the Inquiry into recreational hunting systems in WA and in 2015, made comment opposing the Helena Aurora mining proposal.

Late 2021, the WA state government committed to ending the logging of native forests in the south-west from 2024, to preserve at least an additional 400,000 hectares of karri, jarrah and wandoo forest.

Club members participated in a pre-draft survey in May 2022 to assist DBCA (as part of its community consultation process) in the development of a resultant draft Forest Management Plan 2024-2033.  The Club also made comment on the draft Forest Management Plan which was made available for public comment late 2022.

Additionally, in 2022 the Club made written representations to relevant Ministers opposing an application by a mining company to gain exploration permits in the northern Jarrah Forests.