View from Castle Rock, Porongurup National Park, looking towards Albany.
THE Albany Hinterland is located in the western part of the region and incorporates Denmark, Albany, Mt Barker, Manypeaks and Wellstead. It takes in all of the Denmark, Hay and Kalgan river catchments flowing south from the Stirling Range and discharging into the Wilson Inlet and Oyster Harbour.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, average rainfall for the area fluctuates from 950mm per annum near Denmark in the south-west, to 400mm per annum over the Stirling Range to the north (information based on rainfall from 1976 to 2005).
Soil type is fairly uniform, consisting of yellowish brown sandy and gravelly duplex with underlying yellow to grey siltstone, silty sandstone and spongolite Eocene sediments.
Vegetation types vary and include jarrah, marri, yate, karri woodlands, heathland, shrub lands and grasslands. There are a number of rare and vulnerable species including the scarlet banksia (Banksia coccinea), Gilbert's potoroo and the noisy scrub-bird.
Several species are common to the Albany Hinterland with 10 endemic plant types occurring in the Porongurup National Park and several relictual species in Denmark. The coastal areas are also important for migrating southern right and humpback whales.
The Albany-Hinterland contains nine national parks including Gull Rock, the majority of the Stirling Range, Porongurup, Waychinicup, Torndirrup, West Cape Howe, William Bay, Mt Lindesay and part of Mt Roe.
There are also a number of significant nature reserves, including Two Peoples Bay, Mt Manypeaks, South Stirling and Pardelup, which contribute greatly to the rich biodiversity of the area. Threatened species recovery planning and implementation has benefited significant fauna and flora and communities.
There is much of cultural significance to Aboriginal people of the area, including the Stirling Range, where traditionally the Mineng and Goreng people lived - the range featured in many of their Dreamtime stories.
The fish traps at Oyster Harbour, the Kalgan River and Wilson Inlet are also highly important – South Coast NRM has helped manage some of these assets.
The sub-region boasts a diverse range of industries include agriculture, viticulture, silviculture, commercial fishing and tourism making up the majority. Environmental threats include: Phytophthora dieback, weeds, salinity, water repellence, nutrient run-off, human disturbance and feral animals.
Previous NRM projects have included environmental weed control, soil health, perennial pastures, Phytophthora dieback management, dryland farm forestry and water quality.