Dear Shire President (of York, Western Australia)
I wish to vigorously protest the plans to exploit the sacred and exceedingly rare and fragile environment of Walwalinj ('Mt Bakewell') as indicated by your declarations to the ABC. The mountain has already been placed under stress by clearing for 'recreational' as well as agricultural purposes, and the habitat will not cope with more stress. There are orchids so rare up there they exist nowhere else. The environment should be protected and not exploited, and its sacred essence respected.
I have spent my entire life writing the region and known the environment of the 'Dyott Range' (another inappropriate renaming) and surroundings intimately. This is a 'greenwash' act that claims 'nature tourism', which would simply mean further degradation of a fragile and unique ecosystem.
Cautious walking and care are one thing, but to 'open up' to mountain biking is to consign the bush to destruction. Recently talking on the email with an environmental officer regarding degradation of Perth Hills forests, they noted that the greatest damage came from mountain biking. This opens the door to so many abuses of the habitat. Walwalinj isn't a 'resource' to be 'capitalised' on. In a world suffering under the weight of such exploitation, surely an effort can be made to conserve rather than exploit?
I ask you to reconsider and take this informed protest on board. I will certainly use all my energy, contacts and writing ability to protest this constantly. It is a wrong thing you are aiming to do.
I will speak about this at every public opportunity I get in the wheatbelt, and that will be sooner than later — that is my responsibility, and I take it seriously.