Track rationalisation and rehabilitation

Why do track rehabilitation and rationalisation?

The large number of vehicle tracks in the Yalata Lands is causing extensive damage to native vegetation and animal habitats. The highly sensitive vegetation and soil along the coast tend to have slow recovery times, so are highly susceptible to damage from bush camping and off-road vehicle use.

Tracks left unchecked can become unsafe to drive on and cause widespread deterioration of erosion prone areas of Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA). It is hoped that improving the condition of the main tracks will encourage drivers to use them (as opposed to going off-road) and make them safer.

What is being done?

Natural Resources Alinytjara Wilurara (AW) is working together with Yalata Land Management and Yalata IPA to develop and implement a program for managing tracks in the area and defining or re-establishing coastal camping areas.

GPS technology has been used to accurately map the tracks in the Yalata coastal region. The Yalata Land Management team identified track closure and track maintenance sites based on the frequency of track use. High use tracks are being upgraded to discourage visiting anglers from creating random additional tracks. Unused, unwanted and erosion prone tracks were identified and selected for closure and revegetation.

Decreasing the number of tracks:

  • helps keep dust down around the community
  • assists in restoring areas of native vegetation
  • helps to control spread of weeds
  • provides an opportunity to educate community members and the Yalata Land Management team about useful revegetation techniques and natural rehabilitation methods.

The track maintenance and rehabilitation process involves:

  • blocking access to tracks in areas where erosion is a big concern, by using large logs and dead timber
  • providing more suitable access
  • re-seeding the blocked-off areas with local native seed
  • breaking up the surface of blocked tracks to encourage new growth
  • installing water run-off points to assist in minimising erosion
  • installing ‘revegetation area’ signs at the beginning of tracks.

Revegetation was performed on blocked tracks, with seeds and cuttings being collected from nearby areas to ensure species success rates. Photo monitoring points were set up throughout the areas being rehabilitated to help monitor the success of the program.

Works have been primarily by the community and clearly show the resolve and capacity of community members to make a real difference by taking part in caring for country.