Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Guy Fawkes River National Park horse management plan

Guy Fawkes River National Park is an area of spectacular rugged river gorges and valleys in north-east NSW. A 'biodiversity hotspot', the park contains:

  • 28 threatened plant species
  • 24 threatened animal species
  • over 40 different vegetation communities, including significant areas of old-growth forest.

It also conserves one of the most significant wilderness areas in northern NSW. Introduced plants and animals in the park, including horses, have a significant impact on the natural values of the park and need to be managed. There is local community interest in the park's horses, and the horses have been identified as having local heritage value. In recognition of this, the NPWS established the Guy Fawkes River National Park Horse Steering Committee in October 2002. This local community-based committee was instrumental in the development of the draft horse management plan, which was exhibited from December 2003 to March 2004.

In December 2004, this committee was replaced by a Horse Reference Group, an expert panel set up to assist in reviewing the planning and implementation of the horse capture and removal program. The GFRNP Horse Reference Group includes representatives from the RSPCA, the National Parks Association, horse interest groups, local landholders, the NPW Regional Advisory Committee and researchers.

The draft horse management plan drew on the knowledge, experience and skills of the local community-based steering committee to develop methods and techniques for the humane capture and removal of horses. These have since been refined in light of the trial capture program undertaken in the park during 2004-05. All comments received during the exhibition of the draft plan were also taken into account in the finalisation of the horse management plan. This horse management plan seeks an outcome where the park is managed free of horses and the local heritage significance of the horses is conserved by others through their management outside the park.

 

Documents to download

 

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Page last updated: 29 January 2015