The following areas are currently closed for management and rehabilitation.
The Birriliburu Native Title Determination covers part of the Canning Stock Route including Wells 5 - 15.
While the historical activity on the Canning Stock Route has varied over the years, the steady increase in tourist traffic has become a significant issue for the Birriliburu Native Title Holders. In recent times there has been much discussion between the Birriliburu Native Title Holders and other land holding groups along the length of the Canning Stock Route about the proper management of tourism. To date these discussions have been dominated by the issue of access to country adjacent to the Canning Stock Route.
The Birriliburu Native Title Holders recognize that there is a great degree of interest from travellers wanting to learn more about the country and the people who 'hold' the country traversed by the Canning Stock Route. The Birriliburu Native Title Holders understand that many of the requests to visit places like the Carnarvon Ranges are made by travellers who are genuinely interested in the history, traditions and stories of the Martu people. At present the Birriliburu Native Title Holders manage the access to the Birriliburu Native Title Determination Area through their newly incorporated organization 'Mungarlu Ngurrarankatja Rirraunkatja' ("MNR").
MNR are in the process of developing a detailed land access permit system and management strategy for the Birriliburu Native Title Determined Area. Until such time as the permit system is developed, the Birriliburu Native Title Holders request that travellers please observe the conditions of the Canning Stock Route transit permit and do not travel off the Canning Stock Route while in the Birriliburu Native Title Determined Area (including the Carnarvon Ranges).
For information specific to the Birriliburu Native Title Determined Area please see the website: www.centraldesert.org.au or call Rob Thomas, Manager West Side, Central Desert Native Title Services 08 9425 2000.
Kaalpi (the Calvert Ranges)
Kaalpi (the Calvert Ranges) is an area of great cultural significance to the Martu people. In the last decade, there has been a rapidly escalating level of tourism into the Calvert Ranges. Due to a lack of resources, there has been no capacity to manage this concentrated tourist load.
The majority of tourists have respected the requests of the traditional owners by seeking permits to enter the Ranges and by limiting the impact of their visits. However, the scale of the unmanaged tourist load has now led to a range of issues in the Calvert Ranges and surrounding area that will quite quickly cause permanent deterioration if tourism continues in its current form.
The impact of the substantially increased visitor numbers has included:
- Accidental and at times deliberate damage by visitors to cultural sites
- Fire in the gorges around the Calvert Ranges, causing damage to cultural sites
- Removal of artifacts, including grindstones
- Chainsawing of trees around campsites
- Removal of barriers limiting access to special sites
- Publication of restricted images from the rock art in magazines, on DVDs and on the internet
- Proliferation of tracks to and from the Calvert Ranges
- An increasing number of cleared campsites close to the Ranges
- An increasing load of rubbish, faeces and toilet paper around campsites close to the Ranges
The Calvert Ranges fall within the Martu native title determination area. Land within that area is held on trust for Martu people by the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation, also known as WDLAC.
Due to the need to protect the cultural and environmental values
of this important area, WDLAC has decided that no permits will be
issued to visit the Calvert Ranges and surrounding areas until
further notice. This decision is intended to allow appropriate
management plans and resources to be put in place, to ensure that
sites in and around the Calvert Ranges can be properly protected,
whilst allowing travellers to experience the sites in a culturally
Over the past three years, the Martu have worked in conjunction with a large research team to document the values of this area, and to assess the impact of the high visitor load.
That research team has included representatives from the Australian National University, the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Heritage Water and the Arts, the WA Department of Indigenous Affairs, the WA Department of Environment and Conservation and Central Desert Native Title Services. This research team supports the action WDLAC has taken to protect this area.
WDLAC, on behalf of the Martu people, ask that travellers along the Canning Stock Route and other 4WD travellers respect their wishes, and help in the effort to protect this special area.
They ask that travellers show their support by not visiting the Calvert Ranges until further notice, and by not using tracks to the Calvert Ranges area. We ask travellers to respect Martu wishes and remain on the Canning Stock Route track. Your assistance will help management practices to be put into place, so that this important part of Australia's cultural heritage can be protected. If you have any enquiries, please contact WDLAC on 08 9486 9797