It was once a town that rode high on the sheep's back, a small rural community on the edge of the Stirling Ranges where up to 100 gun shearers worked tirelessly to meet a seemingly endless demand for wool.
Today, Cranbrook - population 268 - is one of many small WA farming towns working to survive the Statewide exodus from inland towns to coastal cities.
A report for the Federal Government warns Cranbrook, 330km south of Perth, is the most vulnerable town in WA to the effects of climate change and could die by 2050.
But the community, which has long coped with cold winters and dry summers, rejected the report's negative outlook.
The University of Adelaide report warns climate change will mean more bushfires, droughts and floods for inland towns and worst hit will be small towns reliant on agriculture.
Professor Andrew Beer said researchers looked at a town's population, reliance on agriculture and education levels.
"Small places are vulnerable because quite often they have very limited industry bases, often have very limited skill sets within their workforce and are highly dependent on natural resources which are at risk," he said.
"You will see more weather events, you're more likely to see large bushfires, prolonged drought and more substantial floods. These are the sorts of challenges that could see this place disappear."
Cranbrook farmer Laurie Fiegert has lived in the area most of his life and doubts the climate has changed that much.
"We've had dry years back in the 70s and worse than what we've had in the last few years, and in the mid-60s it was very wet," Mr Fiegert said. "It's just cycles.
"In my opinion, nothing has really changed weather-wise."
Mr Fiegert, whose wife Vicki runs a lunch bar and cafe, agreed more industries were needed.
Shire president Jan Pope was positive about Cranbrook's future.Ms Pope said the wider shire - from Tenterden to Frankland - had a 2.4 per cent population increase in last year's census, more than any other shire in the Great Southern. "We think we're very adaptable," she said.
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