Due to destruction of endangered fauna and loss of native wildlife, the City of Greater Geraldton is urging locals to refrain from illegal off-road vehicle activity in the Chapman River Regional Park/Chapman River Corridor.
With a vast array of native species, City Rangers are seeing firsthand the detrimental effect 4WDs and motorbikes are having on the area.
Rangers are also receiving regular complaints from the community regarding constant noise and dust issues caused by vehicles.
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said he urged the community to come together to help preserve the Park.
“We are seeing the effects on the area which include fragile soils eroding rapidly from vehicle tyre damage,” he said.
“The City of Greater Geraldton, along with many supporting organisations implement a substantial rehabilitation program each year.
“This year alone, over 10,000 seedlings have been planted in the Chapman River Regional Park and Corridor as well as over $100,000 worth of weed control and we don’t want to see all this time, money and effort wasted due to people partaking in illegal off-road activities.”
A wide variety of land uses exist along the area, with zones set aside for recreational pursuits and large areas of significant remnant vegetation with high a biodiversity value.
A study in 2002 found that 10 species of native mammals, 39 species of reptiles, six species of frogs and 42 species of birds exist within the Corridor.
Over 190 species of flora are present with several varieties on the WA threatened species priority list.
“There is a huge range of native wildlife in the area and we need people to help us look after our environment,” Mayor Van Styn said.
A large amount of restoration work has already taken place with tracks being closed down and rehabilitated, as well as formal emergency vehicle access tracks being resurfaced.
Significant funding has also gone into fencing the Park to prevent unauthorised vehicle access. The next stage of the fencing program will start this year to close any existing gaps.
It is an offence to access the Chapman River Regional Park and Corridor without Local Government authorisation. The offence for this illegal activity may result in a $250 infringement as well as impoundment of the vehicle.
You can help protect this unique area of bushland by reporting any illegal vehicle activity sightings to the City’s Ranger Services on 9956 6600 or firstname.lastname@example.org