What is a park management plan?

    Park management plans are the main strategic documents used to manage protected areas in South Australia. Management plans set strategic direction, contain information on park values and threats, and outline the objectives and strategies for how parks will be managed. All parks in South Australia are required to have a park management plan.

    Why is a new park management plan being developed?

    Developing a new park management plan provides an opportunity to refresh how parks are managed, formalise policies for park management, and gives the community an opportunity to comment on this management. 

    The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 requires that all parks have a management plan. Most of the parks in eastern Kangaroo Island are yet to have a park management plan prepared.

    Beatrice Islet, Busby Islet, Dudley, Nepean Bay and Pelican Lagoon conservation parks are covered by a park management plan, but it is over 30 years old – the Conservation Parks of Kangaroo Island Management Plan 1988. Once adopted, the new park management plan will replace the management outlined in the Conservation Parks of Kangaroo Island Management Plan 1988 for these parks.  

    Once a new plan has been adopted, all parks in Kangaroo Island will be covered with a modern management plan, providing certainty on how parks will be managed over the longer term. 

    How does a park management plan guide the management of the park?

    Park management plans are strategic documents that provide an overview of how a park will be managed. Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, all parks must be managed in accordance with any park management plan.

    Modern park management plans focus on key themes, and develop a range of objectives and strategies under each theme. The current draft plan has identified four themes, each with objectives and strategies to inform management. The plan provides direction that informs operational work plans and the day-to-day management of the park. When funding becomes available, the park management plan also helps guide where that funding should be focussed. 

    Why has a new management plan been developed which considers 11 parks?

    The parks in this plan have similar ecological and geographic features and are subject to similar issues. The planning process provided an opportunity to develop one management plan to support a consistent approach to biodiversity conservation and public visitation in the conservation parks across eastern Kangaroo Island.

    What does the draft plan say about visitor use and new visitor facilities?

    The draft plan tries to balance the increasing demand for visitor access and the conservation of areas of high biodiversity value. The plan seeks to facilitate appropriate visitor access to the parks of eastern Kangaroo Island by creating exceptional low impact recreation spaces and diverting access from high-risk areas. 

    It does this by identifying parks where further facilities are considered appropriate and outlining what these facilities could be – for example, additional camping in Lashmar CP or further trail development across parks. It also provides strategies aimed at ensuring minimal visitor infrastructure is developed in parks that are less developed, such as Dudley CP or Lesueur CP. 

    Full details on visitor management strategies are outlined in the draft plan, but in particular the third theme: providing opportunities for recreation. 

    I already visit these parks. How will the new plan impact me?

    Generally, this plan will not impact on how you currently use the park. The plan focusses on the future, and how the park will be managed in the longer term. This includes identifying areas where visitor use should be focussed, while maintaining a wild and more natural experience in some of the more remote and less-disturbed parks of eastern Kangaroo Island. 

    The plan does outline certain activities that are not encouraged going forward, including dog access in certain areas of Lashmar Conservation Park. If you are a park user, please review the park management plan and send through your thoughts. 

    What will change as a result of this park plan?

    For the most part, how visitors experience parks, and the protection of important species will continue across eastern Kangaroo Island parks with few direct changes as a result of the new plan. However, the plan does formalise and enact a series of policies for park management going forward. This includes: 

    • Designating areas for growth of visitor facilities in Lashmar Conservation Park
    • Identifying recreational opportunities across the east of Kangaroo Island
    • Outlining key conservation priorities and programs
    • Preventing introduced species such as dogs and horses from entering parks
    • Outlining planned additions to the recreational offering in Cape Willoughby.

    Please review the draft plan for all strategies outlined. Your thoughts can help shape the final park management plan. 

    Why is this plan outlining a change in dog access in Lashmar Conservation Park?

    Dog access pre-dates the proclamation of Lashmar Conservation Park, and has been permitted in certain areas to allow for a previous use to continue. However, since then, Lashmar has become a premier visitor destination, with many new visitors bringing their dogs camping or for day visits. This increase in dog numbers, when inappropriately managed, can cause impacts to some of the key natural features Lashmar Conservation Park was proclaimed to protect. The draft plan outlines an approach where dogs are not permitted in Lashmar Conservation Park, or the remainder of parks in eastern Kangaroo Island (where they are already not permitted).  Please review the draft park management plan and send your views on how dogs should be managed in eastern KI parks.  

    The draft park management plan outlines that a fire management plan will be prepared. Can I review that plan?

    A new fire management plan is currently in preparation for all parks in Kangaroo Island. This plan will provide long-term, strategic direction for fire management in the Kangaroo Island parks, including for the parks of eastern Kangaroo Island. The plan will set priorities about where, how and why we need to act to reduce the risk of bushfire. 

    A draft fire management plan was prepared following meetings and workshops with locals including CFS Group Officers and volunteers, KI Landscape Board and its staff, park rangers, KI community, farmers, ecologists and environmental groups, AgKI, and researchers to ensure local and expert knowledge and experience was included. 

    The draft fire management plan for Kangaroo Island parks was released for consultation earlier this year on YourSAy. More information is available here

    Can the park management plan be more prescriptive on fire management?

    Managing for the fire requirements of each park is complex, as each park contains its own species, communities, and risks, which react to fire in different ways. Effective management also requires flexibility to manage fire in accordance with the latest science. 

    The park management plan outlines the broad principles affecting fire management in the parks of eastern Kangaroo Island. The fire management plan must be in accordance with the management outlined in a park management plan, but provides the opportunity for a more detailed planning on the specifics of fire management. 

    How can I have my say on the draft management plan?

    Have your say by:

    • Emailing a submission to: 
      DEWProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au (please include Eastern Kangaroo Island in the email subject heading). 
    • Posting your written submission to:
      Department for Environment and Water
      National Parks and Protected Area Program
      GPO Box 1047 ADELAIDE SA 5001
    • Taking our survey.