A new draft management plan for the proposed Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert National Park has just been released for the community to share their views on the future management of this iconic cultural and tourist destination.
Earlier this year the South Australian Government proposed to convert Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert Conservation Park and the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert Regional Reserve into one national park, creating Australia’s largest national park at 3.6 million hectares in size.
National Parks and Wildlife Service Executive Director Mike Williams said the draft management plan is much the same as the existing 2019 management plan for the Regional Reserve and Conservation Park, but has been updated to recognise the new national park status, and enshrine new protections for the environmentally significant Kallakoopah Creek in the national park.
“This change will help promote the park and strengthen the area’s conservation and biodiversity values,” Mr Williams said.
“These protected areas play an integral role in the conservation of South Australia’s biological diversity and natural heritage, and in maintaining the resilience of ecosystems against the effects of a changing climate.
“These protected areas conserve vitally important ecosystems, habitats, plants and animals, unique land formations, and culturally significant places. National parks are essential spaces to enjoy nature in all its forms, and provide South Australians with a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits.”
The draft management plan focuses on three themes:
- Maintaining the natural desert landscape, through conserving the fragile desert environment so that it can be enjoyed by all people for many generations to come.
- Keeping Wangkangurru Yarluyandi culture alive, through ensuring Country is protected, visitors can learn about Country and Wangkangurru Yarluyandi people can pass on cultural knowledge to younger generations.
- Providing a unique cultural and nature-based experience for visitors, by enabling visitors to have a positive experience without impacting on the environmental values of the national park.
The public is now invited to share their views on the draft plan through YourSAy, which is open until 5pm 11 January 2022. All feedback received through the survey will be considered in the development of the final plan.
The Wangkangurru Yarluyandi people know the area as Munga-Thirri, meaning Big Sandhill Country. The national park, as with the previous conservation park and regional reserve, is co-named to recognise that this land has always been, and will continue to be, the Country of the Wangkangurru Yarluyandi people.