• Amma Buckley Curtin University of Technology


The environmental impact of local people recreating in nature is an under-studied aspect of protected area management. A recent review of nature-based recreation was undertaken in regional south-western Australia. Surrounded by an array of protected areas, including a national park with World Heritage status, the local residents of this remote West Australian location have relatively unrestricted access to a variety of conserved landscapes. A mineral resources boom in Western Australia has witnessed a return to mining in the area, accompanied by a considerable population increase of both itinerant and permanent miners. For local people and environmental managers alike, this influx has raised concerns about the carrying capacity of this fragile ecosystem to sustain the wilderness recreation activities of the newly arrived mining community. This paper draws on evidence gathered from a recent study and outlines the extent to which local people can be considered visitors to these protected places.


ABC Goldfields WA (2008, December 2) Ravensthorpe plays down mine closure fears. Retrieved: 5 December from

Agnew, A. (1989) The devaluation of place in social science. In A. Agnew and J.S. Duncan(Eds) The Power of Place: Bringing Together Geographical and Sociological Imaginations. Unwin Hyman, Boston, MA.9-29.

Australian Bureauof Statistics (ABS) (2007a) 2006 Census QuickStats: Ravensthorpe (tatistical local area).Retrieved:30 November 2007 from

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2007b) 2006 Census CommunityProfile Series: Ravensthorpe (local government area). Retrieved: 30 June 2008 from

Bradby, K. (1989) A park in perspective: A report on the past, present and future of Fitzgerald River National Park.Fitzgerald River National Park Association, Western Australia.

Brandenburg, A. and Carroll, M. (1995) Your place or mine?:The effect of place creation on environmental values and landscape meanings. Society and Natural Resources,8 pp 381-98.

Brereton, D. and Pattenden, C. (2007) Measuring what matters: Monitoring thecontribution of a new mining project to community sustainability. Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Development Indicators in the Minerals Industry, Milos Island, Greece, pp1-6.

Brown, G.G., Reed, P. and Harris, C.C. (2002) Testing a place-based theory for environmental evaluation: An Alaska case study. Applied Geography, 22 (1) pp 49-76.

Buckley, A. (2007) Beyond conceptual elegance: Local participation and the ̳model‘ Fitzgerald Biosphere Reserve.Working paper series, no. 4. Alcoa Research Centre for Stronger Communities, Perth. Available from

Buckley, R. and King, N. (2003) Visitor-impact data in a land-management context. In R. Buckley, C. Pickering and D.B. Weaver (Eds) Nature-Based Tourism, Environment and Land Management. CABI Publishing, Oxon. 89-100.

Bushnell, R. (2003) Balancing conservation and visitation in protected areas. In R. Buckley, C.Pickering and D.B. Weaver (Eds) Nature-Based Tourism, Environment and Land Management. CABIPublishing, Oxon. 197-208.

Cantrill, J.G. and Senecah, S.L. (2001) Using the ̳sense of self-in-place‘ construct in the context of environmental policy-making and landscape planning. Environmental Science and Policy, 4 pp 185-203.

Clark, I. (2007) Ravensthorpe nickel: Building new capacity. Presentation to the 3rdCaledonia Nickel Conference, New Caledonia. Retrieved: 17 November 2008 from

Cloke, P., Philo, C. and Sadler, D. (1991) Approaching Human Geography: An Introduction to Contemporary Theoretical Debates. Paul Chapman, London.

Coleman, J.S. (1990) Foundations of Social Theory.Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Department of Environment and Heritage(2004) Phytophthora Cinnamomi causing dieback in plants. Government of South Australia. Retrieved: 12 May 2008 from

Dixon, J. and Durrheim, K. (2000) Displacing place identity: A discursive approach to locating self and other. British Journal of Social Psychology, 39 (1) pp 27-44.

Donaldson, H. and Donaldson, R. (2000) Ravensthorpe Shire cultural plan. Retrieved: 23 May 2008 from

Eisenhauer, B.W., Krannich, R.S. and Blahna, D.J. (2000) Attachments to special places on public lands: An analysis of activities, reason for attachments, and community connections. Society and Natural Resources,13 (5) pp 421-41.




How to Cite

Buckley, A. . (2008). CHANGING PLACE: LOCAL PEOPLE, RECREATION AND PROTECTED AREAS ON THE SOUTH COAST OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA1. The Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 14(2), 1–15. Retrieved from