Plan to protectour national parksour national parks
THE value of the Tweed's World heritage-listed national parks has been recognised in a NSW Government plan for the parks' futures.
Released by NSW Environment Minister Bob Debus, the plan offers a guide for management procedures for the parks and reserves of the Tweed Caldera including Mt Warning, the Border Ranges and Nightcap national parks.
The plan will also cover the newly created Mt Jerusalem, Mebbin and Goonengerry national parks, and the Limpinwood, Numinbah and Snows Gully Nature Reserves.
The planning area covers almost 56,000 hectares on the Far North Coast and is surrounded by the townships of Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Lismore and Kyogle.
"All these areas have been grouped under one plan because of their similarities and close associa- tion with the eroded crater, or caldera, of the Mt Warning shield volcano," Mr Debus said.
"This plan will ensure the protection of both wildlife habitat and cultural sites and promote the recognition of these values in park management and interpretation. It will also guide fire and weed management and recreation use throughout the parks.
"The parks of the Tweed Caldera are of great importance to tourism, both local and international.
"The plan aims to provide a balance between sustainable visitor use and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. Opportunities for recreational activities such as walking and car-based touring will continue to be provided."
Mr Debus said the plan had been prepared with extensive consultation with the community, particularly Aboriginal, environmental and recre- ational groups.
More than 130 submissions were received following the four-month pubic exhibition of the draft plan.
"The dramatic landscape of the Tweed Valley encircling Mt Warning is home to some of the rarest plants in Australia and boasts the highest diversity of birds and reptiles on the continent," he said.
"The World Heritage listing of the Mt Warning, Border Ranges and Nightcap National Parks is recognition of their significance on a global scale.
"There are more than 100 plants and 50 animals classed as rare or threatened. Many of these are only found in this region.
"The landscapes of the caldera are part of the identity, spirituality and resource base for Aboriginal people."
The plan is available on the web at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au