The Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition (CVCC) recently wrote to the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian about her government's decision to ignore the 2016 Wild Horse Management Plan for dealing with feral horses in the Kosciuszko National Park in southern NSW.
The text of the letter is printed below.
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The CVCC would like to add its voice to others, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, who have expressed their shock and dismay regarding the passing of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Bill 2018 through the NSW Parliament.
This Bill has enormous implications for the future management of the National Heritage listed Kosciuszko National Park.
It precludes the implementation of the 2016 Wild Horse Management Plan, instead requiring initiation of a new plan that prioritises the dubious historical heritage value of the population of feral brumbies in the park – a population which threaten the truly unique values of this park such as the endemic alpine plants and plant communities which are found nowhere else.
Kosciuszko National Park protects outstanding alpine and subalpine vegetation, birds, frogs, reptiles and mammals and has done so since 1944 when established as a state park under its own legislation.
Horses are grazing animals and grazing was ended in the national park in the late 1960s in response to scientific evidence about the damage it causes to the environment. Feral horses cause immense damage to fragile alpine vegetation and waterways, damage which is evident to even the most untrained human eye, the consequences of which are indisputable. They trample, erode and pollute the national park’s unique alpine wetlands and catchments.
The CVCC is immensely disappointed that members of your Government have chosen to abandon science, proper process and the advice of the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee in favour of a single stakeholder group.
We call on you to revoke the bill to ensure the protection of the Kosciuszko National Park for future generations by implementing the 2016 Wild Horse Management Plan.