Wilderness opened to horse riding on South Coast NSW

HORSE riders will benefit with the opening up of previously inaccessible Wilderness Areas in Deua and Monga National Parks to give experienced riders access to an unparalleled horseback experience.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance announced today that new horse riding opportunities in some of the wildest parts of Deua and Monga National Parks west of Narooma will commence on 12 April, 2014.

While horse riding already occurs in more than 110 national parks, the NSW Government has delivered on its commitment to trial horse riding in five selected Wilderness Areas, including trails in Deua, Monga, Kosciuszko and Mummel Gulf National Parks.

Mr Constance said the new horse riding opportunities were the result of considerable planning and community consultation over the past year.

“Many in this region have a strong cultural connection to horse riding and this two-year trial in five Wilderness Areas will include rigorous monitoring to assess potential impacts on the environment and park users," Mr Constance said.

“The pilot riding area traverses the Buckernbowra, Burra-Oulla and Woila-Deua Wilderness Areas comprising 39 kilometres of trails.

“There are those in our community who for generations rode historic tracks like the Shoebridge, Tarlinton, and Georges Pack Bridle Tracks.

“Historically, these tracks connected towns, valleys, goldfields, the tablelands and the coast and it’s pleasing that those who identify with horse riding on these routes will now be able to reconnect with their heritage.

“Horse riding is a beautiful way to get out and enjoy the natural environment so I am pleased that we are on track to start this exciting trial in the Declared Wilderness Areas of Buckenbowra, Woila Deua and Burra-Oulla."

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Regional Manager for the Far South Coast Tim Shepherd said the trial focused on existing tracks and trails.

“Considerable planning and community consultation over the past year has paved the way to allow for horse riding in certain Wilderness Areas where it was previously not possible," Mr Shepherd said.

“We have worked closely with the community and horse riders as well as a range of interest groups, including the regional advisory committee and the State Advisory Council to establish this trial.

“The bridle tracks that will now be accessible for riders require skill and knowledge to navigate and will provide new opportunities for the community to enjoy Deua and Monga National Parks.

"These new riding opportunities provide a great chance for people to stay connected with their heritage and enjoy more of the region on horseback in an environmentally responsible manner."

Deua and Monga National Parks are an easy day trip from Cooma, Braidwood, Moruya and even Canberra, and offer many adventures including camping, walks through incredible landscapes, bird watching, canoeing and swimming.Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker said that the Government is committed to safeguarding the environment in which the horse riding trials will be occurring.

“The two year trial will operate within a comprehensive monitoring framework and will be adaptively managed” Ms Parker said.

“The trial provides new opportunities for people to experience and understand wilderness and will help ensure that our environment is protected for future generations”.

Horse riding in Wilderness trial locations across NSW:

o Deua National Park – Woila Deua and Burra-Oulla Wilderness Areas

o Monga National Park – Buckenbowra Wilderness Area

o Kosciuszko National Park – Pilot Wilderness Area

o Mummel Gulf National Park – Mummel Gulf Wilderness Area

Four of the horse riding trials will commence on 12 April 2014. A pilot is also proposed for Curracabundi National Park. This will be announced following exhibition and adoption of the plan of management for the park. This is likely to occur in 2015.

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