Western Australia has joined forces with Leave No Trace Australia (LNT) to encourage and inspire responsible outdoor recreation and travel throughout the State’s conservation lands.

Environment Minister Judy Edwards today announced that the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the national non-profit organisation as part of its strategy to increase public awareness of how to minimise the impacts of visiting conservation areas.

“Tourism in WA is growing at an extremely rapid rate with the majority of tourists wanting to experience the State’s varied natural attractions – many of which are on conservation lands” she said.

“A key priority for CALM is integrating tourism and recreation with conservation goals and an important part of this is encouraging people to minimise the impact on the environment.

“This MOU will significantly assist in this approach and formalises an on-going partnership with CALM and LNT.”

Dr Edwards said the seven principles of LNT – plan ahead, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimise campfire impacts, respect wildfire and be considerate of yourself, hosts and other visitors – were in harmony with CALM’s objectives in providing visitor facilities and services on conservation lands.

“LNT provides a program for the education of visitors to natural and cultural heritage areas and its use by CALM will complement the range of interpretative programs and education experiences already developed by the Department,” she said.“The MOU will further assist CALM and LNT identify common areas of interest and collaboration in promoting the minimal impact message throughout the State,” she said.Dr Edwards said CALM staff already undertake professional training and development in the skills and ethics of LNT and this would be further expanded under the MOU.“CALM will also provide opportunities for LNT to distribute resources at CALM outlets and visitor centres.”Leave No Trace Managing Director Cameron Crowe said that LNT Australia greatly appreciated the support received from CALM in assisting to implement LNT.“The support for a national minimal impact public education program from State and Federal governments, and the tourism industry is essential for bio-diversity protection,” he said.Dr Edwards said the MOU brings together the common aims and interests of CALM and LNT to provide minimal impact educational information to users of the public conservation estate and the wider community resulting in benefits for both Western Australians and visitors.

Media contact: Minister’s office 9220 5050