Logging in the jarrah forest in the 1920s
Logging in the jarrah forest in the early 1920s.
Photo © Parks and Wildlife

Heritage encompasses that which we value and want to protect as a community. It includes cultural and natural heritage.

Natural heritage

Natural heritage is strongly linked to features of the natural environment, such as biodiversity, ecosystems, soil and water. Our majestic south-west forests are an important part of our natural heritage.

Cultural heritage

Aboriginal people have had a connection to forest areas in the south-west of Western Australia for more than 40,000 years.

This connection and stewardship covers traditional ecological knowledge of land, archeological records of places and ceremony, and an ongoing physical and spiritual attachment to the land.

Recent amendments to the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 include protecting and conserving the value of the land to the culture and heritage of Aboriginal people in a way that does not adversely affect the conservation of plants and animals. The amendments also provide for joint management arrangements and will build on existing entitlements to enable Aboriginal people to undertake customary activities, such as preparing and consuming food and engaging in ceremonial activities, on land vested in the Conservation Commission. 

As well as the rich Aboriginal heritage in our south-west forests, there is a wealth of other Australian cultural heritage, including:

  • timber towns, buildings and sawmills (such as Shannon)
  • transport systems such as old railway lines
  • dams and weirs
  • tree nurseries
  • folklore and traditions.
Photo of the first forestry apprentices in Western Australia
The first forestry apprentices in Western Australia circa 1917.
L to R: Dick Perry, Bill Ross, Claude Kinsella, Jack Thomson, George Clover.
Photo © Parks and Wildlife

A range of historic places on lands vested in the Conservation Commission are: