Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Conservationists blast wilderness vandalism

“The small band of horse riders demanding access to remote wilderness under the NSW Government’s Strategic Directions report has now shown their true colours.  They have chosen bright orange spray paint to mark the horse riding trails carved through the wilderness,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.

“The Colong Foundation does not tolerate vandalism masquerading as management.  We have inspected the Georges Pack Track in the Deua National Park.  Logs have been sawn using a chainsaw, the bush hacked apart and the orange paint sprayed on granite boulders in the middle of the Burra Oulla wilderness area,” Mr Muir said.

“The Foundation brought all these concerns to the attention of Environment Minister, the Hon Robyn Parker, and to the NPWS some months ago. We have heard nothing back since and that raises our suspicions”, said Mr Muir.

“The Braidwood Times has reported that Mr Brian Clark, Chair of the Access for All lobby group is involved in clearing horse trails in the Deua National Park,” he said.  According to the Braidwood Times* ‘Access For All has worked closely with the local NPWS assisting in clearing and maintaining the tracks even though they have been closed to horse riders.

“Well the NPWS and Minster Parker have heard Access for All.  They now propose to open extra horse trails in the Deua National Park for them.  Yet Ms Parker has apparently done nothing to investigate the vandalism on these proposed wilderness trails”, Mr Muir said. 

“Minister Parker needs to show some backbone and cancel this so-called wilderness horse riding trial.  Those who are responsible for this initiative can’t be trusted with precious wilderness.  Obviously the management band aids proposed by NPWS won’t stop the chainsaws, axes, paint, yards and weeds that will follow, as they can’t stop the vandalism happening right now”, Mr Muir said.

“The horse lobby already has got more than its pound of flesh from the precious remnants wilderness left in NSW.  The wilderness identified by the NPWS over the Deua Valley was never protected, in part to accommodate horse riders.  The Bicentennial National Trail cuts through Washpool, Guy Fawkes, Macleay Gorges, Werrikimbe, Curracabundi, Murruin areas and cancelled protection on the Tabletop wilderness for their benefit”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)
Images of damage to the Burra Oulla Wilderness declared in 1994 follow

* http://www.braidwoodtimes.com.au/story/177161/historic-bridle-tracks-a-review-of-access-denied/

Image of the abuse to the Burra Oulla Wilderness that was declared in 1994