The parks included on this website, 'our parks', are part of Western Australia's conservation estate - Crown lands and waters that have been reserved for the general purpose of conservation, and state forests.
We, the Department of Parks and Wildlife, manage the parks of the conservation estate on behalf of the Conservation Commission, the Marine Parks and Reserves Authority and the people of Western Australia. Amendments to legislation in 2011 allowed for others, including traditional custodians, to jointly manage reserves.
There are a number of different types of park, each type with its own specific purpose. A park's type is included in its name: Purnululu National Park, Ningaloo Marine Park, Credo Conservation Park, Nuytsland Nature Reserve, Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, Herdsman Lake Regional Park and Dwellingup State Forest, for example.
We must manage parks according to the purpose for which they have been reserved. Different activities and facilities are compatible with different types of park, and to the particular conditions of each park. Examples of what this means to visitors are:
- pets are not allowed on most of the conservation estate, for the protection of both native fauna and pets - see 'Pets in parks',
- some roads in a number of parks are closed to visitors' vehicles, either throughout the year or in response to current conditions, as a measure against the spread of dieback, Phytophtora cinnamomi, the 'biological bulldozer' that has devastated native plant communities and is threatening a number of species with extinction,
Additionally, the responsibilities of other agencies, unrelated to conservation, may also affect visitors' access to park. An example is the Department of Water restrictions on access to some areas of parks for the protection of public drinking water supplies.
Each time you visit a park, by following the low impact principles of 'Leave No Trace' and following any locally-specific instructions, you can contribute to the conservation effort and ensure that our parks may continue to be enjoyed by future generations.