Unsustainable National Parks

23 May 2021

Lesueur National Park, Western Australia

It’s hard to worry about the future of humanity on this planet when you’re through remote Western Australia. There’s no people, no development and no pollution. You forget about all the stuff that goes on to keep modern civilisation going. But there I was worrying.

To get to Lesueur National Park you need to travel on dirt roads. Until you get to the park, which actually has sealed roads. I was about to turn into it but then saw it’s only an exit, even though the road is obviously wide enough for two big gas-guzzling cars.

No entry to sealed road

So I rode another five kilometres to the “entrance”. I was the only one who took up one of the many neat and tidy parking bays.

Parked bike at empty parking

I read all the nice signs and plaques, even if the plants being exhibited were long dead.

Dead plant with sign Signs with park information

On the way up I almost accidentally went on a closed track. The closed track was flat and well-formed, but apparently so dangerous a special sign was put up. At the top of the hill it started raining so I came back down. At the bottom it stopped raining so I sat on the neat and tidy bench.

Closed walking track Me at top of hill Me sitting on immaculate bench

On my way out I accidentally went the wrong way out of the parking area, disobeying another “No Entry” sign. It’s hard to know which is the right and wrong way when you go along huge areas of empty tarmac.

Back on the dirt road again I started thinking about the park. That’s when I started worrying. To curb this climate change thing, one thing we probably need to do is balance the expansion of society with keeping wild areas wild. Those wild areas are often cleared for development. The National parks system is a way to protect land from development. Let’s say we propose something radical like doubling the land of all national parks in Australia (is that enough? Probably not). The powers that be in government and big companies may wonder about the cost. I hope they don’t look at Lesueur national park as an example.

Me, bike, dirt road