Thousands of Western Australians will head out into the natural environment this weekend as the State celebrates WA Day.
“People will be out in droves this weekend enjoying the beautiful environment we are lucky enough to have here in WA,” according to Natural Resource Management Western Australia Chair Jim Sullivan. “It’s a good time to take stock of how lucky we are and to remember that we all play a part in looking after the environment.
“People often go away for the WA Day long weekend – they head out to the bush to go camping or bushwalking, or they head to the coast to go boating or fishing.
“But wherever you plan on spending WA Day, and whatever you plan to do while you’re there, make sure that you’re looking after the place.”
Mr Sullivan said simple things such as making sure rubbish was disposed of correctly, sticking to marked trails when in the bush, and observing fishing catch limits and fire regulations added up to make a big difference.
“In some parts of Western Australia there are specific issues that need special attention,” he said. “Take Phytophthora dieback, for example. It’s a huge problem in the forested and bushland areas of the South West and South Coast regions, and is easily spread with soil that collects on vehicles and footwear.
“The NRM regional groups are doing great work and have some fabulous information available to help people stop spreading dieback when four-wheel driving, mountain biking and bushwalking.”
Phytophthora Dieback is a plant disease which kills by attacking the roots of susceptible plants. It is spread via movement of soil, water and plant material and once an area is infested there is no cure. Over 40% of WA’s 5500 plant species are affected, and over one million hectares of bushland is already infected.
The main things to do to help stop the spread of dieback are to stick to tracks and trails, avoid travelling off-road in wet soil conditions, and ensure your vehicle, footwear and equipment is soil-free before entering new areas.
“All year-round, regional NRM groups are working with local communities to care for and improve the environment.
“Doing your bit when you visit your favourite place this WA Day long weekend helps make sure it’s still healthy when you come back next year, and the year after that, and beyond as well,” Mr Sullivan said.
NRMWA is a peak body representing seven regional NRM organisations that in combination cover the entire state of Western Australia.
To find a group working in your local area and get involved contact your local NRM regional group. www.nrmwa.org.au/regions
More information about dieback: www.dieback.net.au
Coastal 4WD off-road code: https://goo.gl/x23nBb
High resolution images available.