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NPAACT Home > News Items > Horse-riding in Kosciuzsko NP Wilderness Areas

Horse-riding in Kosciuzsko NP Wilderness Areas

16-July-2013

Please write to:
 
REGIONAL OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
PO BOX 733
QUEANBEYAN NSW 2620

Southern.ranges@environment.nsw.gov.au

THE CLOSING DATE FOR COMMENTS ON THESE AMENDMENTS IS MONDAY 29TH JULY 2013

HORSE RIDING IN WILDERNESS KPOM – SUBMISSION   July 2013
 
Please find suggested input to the proposed amendments to the Kosciuzsko Plan of Management below:
 
1.      Horse riding is already allowed in almost 50% of KNP and has extensive infrastructure and facilities to accommodate that activity.
 
2.      Horse riding should not be extended to any wilderness areas in KNP.
 
3.      Horse riding is not a self-reliant activity.  Extending that activity, even for this trial, is incompatible with the management principles and conservation values of wilderness areas.
 
4.      There is considerable concern that any monitoring program will be able to monitor the damage created by this trial.  There is no base-line data from which to undertake appropriate scientific and statistically valid data collections.  The situation will be aggravated and contaminated by the existence and damage by feral horses, making the task even more difficult for staff or independent monitors.
 
5.      Support is given to contracting of monitoring to independent well-recognised and accepted scientists, such as Profs. Richard Kingsford, Catherine Pickering and Michael Dunlop.
 
6.      There is strong opposition to Option 1, which circumnavigates KNP, and crosses four separate wilderness areas.  It contravenes the expectations and good will of the public, in what the Government then presented originally as one trial, in one wilderness area.  After the initial round of consultation, this ‘trial’ was extended to several other parks across NSW.  Given the Government is set on trialing horse riding in the wilderness, then it must be limited to one wilderness area only.  Extending it over such a huge and highly diverse area will make monitoring almost impossible and any attempt will be a farce.
 
7.      Option 2, in the Cascades and Tin Mine area, are extremely damaged by feral horses (which need to be attended to immediately), but the areas contain few weeds.  Introducing horse riders into these areas is certainly to provide the opportunity to create weed infestations and further issues for the future.
 
8.      There are further concerns about Option 3, Long Plain to near Blowering Dam, and urge that special endeavours be made to exclude and protect the habitat of the endangered northern Corroboree Frog should this option be considered.
 
9.      It is understood approx. 10 huts could be impacted upon with Option 1.  Horse riders do not stay 50 m away from huts as required under the KPOM.  The hut precincts (especially that pertaining to Tin Mine) will become stressed and degraded.
 
10.   Observations over many decades has shown that horse riding in KNP has increased the damage to creek beds, huts sites, camping areas and to trees.  Horse riders have now made it part of their stay that horses are tethered to trees for extended periods of times.  There is much that horse riders need to learn and to apply with respect to their use of public land and about how their activities detrimentally affect the expectations, well-being and pleasure of other users.
 
11.     Schedule 4, Appropriate Recreational Activities – Table S4.1 needs to be consistent with cycling in the wilderness zone.  Therefore add to the wilderness column ‘Yes (only as part of the wilderness pilot described in 8.7.1 (2)’.
 
 

 

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