This landscape of unsurpassed beauty and unique plant and animal communities is under threat.
More than 40,000 hectares of unique bushland is unprotected and exposed to continuous threats from mining. Several coal mines in the region have already degraded the rivers and swamps of the Gardens of Stone, and if business out here continues as usual it is only a matter of time before the damage is beyond redemption. The area is currently State Forest and does not receive effective management of its many values, including;
- Rare landforms such as pagodas, montane sand dunes and highland swamps, cliffs, natural arches, waterfalls, slot canyons, gorges and large caverns.
- Threatened plants and animals and rare vegetation communities, including two critically endangered animals that are restricted to the swamps.
- Many Aboriginal rock art and other sites dating back thousands of years
The Gardens of Stone Alliance of environment groups is leading a campaign to reserve the Newnes Plateau and other sandstone uplands adjoining Wollemi National Park and Gardens of Stone National Park. Only when reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act will its beauty, its unique ecosystems and its value as a recreational haven for us visitors be protect in perpetuity.
Off road vehicle activities, logging, sand quarrying and coal mining are making ever increasing incursions into the Gardens of Stone - Stage Two reserve proposal. All these activities cause serious environmental damage to fragile rock formations, streams, cliffs and groundwater dependent ecosystems such as upland swamps.
The reserve proposal is a comprehensive protection plan to curb cumulative impacts and to foster appropriate recreation within the proposal area. The following management issues are addressed: