Yesterday I convinced my darling to come flower hunting with me at Mount Lesueur National Park. I know the season has not started yet but the thrill of seeing fresh flowers blooming has given me a bit of flower fever. Last year over the course of 9 months I spent around 100 hours hiking and sweating, crouching, squinting in the sunlight (perhaps the reason I’m getting wrinkles!) and was able to identify over 500 different types of wildflowers (by eye…not name).
I love this region, I love the diversity….and I could easily get lost chasing bugs, plants, flowers for the rest of my life. But I am worried that this amazing place might not be protected forever. Here are some nice photos (from Lesueur and the farm) to take a look at before I dive into the negative topic of fracking.
There was a time (in the early 80’s) when Mount Lesueur was destined to become a coal mine. Locals here fought vigilantly against the industry and won! The park was given a “Class A” title which is the highest level of conservation in Western Australia.
Those locals still reside here, and many are currently worried about the potential dangers to the underground aquifers with the proposed fracking activity. It is especially worrying because the petroleum and mines department can override any conservation classification. That’s right, the government can renege it’s promise!
While driving through these mountains (large rolling hills) you are bound to spot kangaroo, emu and of course plenty of stunning wildflowers. The park is host to the most plant diversity on the planet. There are 800+ flower species that exist in Mount Lesueur. As a relative comparison: The British Isles have 1,200 total.
Last year I wrote about the fracking industry and why it concerned me. This region is a going to be a potential grid of fracking wells. At the time I signed on to become a part of the newly formed community group P.O.W.E.R Eneabba. The group of locals dedicated themselves to researching the industry and local geology. They were invited by a local mining organisation to take a look at a fracking site that was in the operating stages. I went. I took photographs at the site and showed these images as a presentation of our findings to other members (I’ve not been allowed to use these photographs in any other way, and so have since deleted them). I also shot a campaign for the group. The members also formed questions and received partial (poor) answers from leaders in parliament and the industries.
There are currently two sites located very close to Eneabba. Given the amount of negative press relating to the fracking industry you would think the state government would be keen to keep a very close eye on the industry. They have been very flippant about the whole ordeal. In fact they are more than happy to continue selling valuable land to develop and test.
P.O.W.E.R Eneabba, Jurien Bay, and Geraldton groups are still working diligently and meeting regularly to take a stand against a very dangerous and reckless industry. Treasures like Mount Lesueur should remain intact and I for one will be continuing to support those who want to protect the land and water for future generations.
Readers: Does fracking concern you?
Are you a scientist who’s spent time researching water conservation or flora and fauna in the Midwest Region? Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org