Work continues to reopen local parks
Recovery work at Bald Rock, Boonoo Boonoo and Basket Swamp national parks near Tenterfield, is continuing with efforts focussed on making visitor areas safe to reopen.
Members of Tenterfield Shire Council visited with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff last week to see first-hand work to reopen to the parks to visitors following the large Wallangarra fire early in the year.
NPWS and Office of Environment and Heritage staff have been working to assess the impact to the park ecosystems and make visitor areas safe.
NPWS ranger Dirk Richards, said an essential, but time-consuming, part of the recovery process is assessing visitor safety at various locations, with many trees close to picnic areas, walking tracks and campgrounds needing work to reduce the potential risk of injury from tree or limb fall.
"Whilst these parks remain closed we ask the public to respect the park closed signs and not enter these areas for their own personal safety," Mr Richards said.
"The environmental road to recovery in these parks will be very much influenced by the weather in the coming months and years.
"Germination of grasses and growth from root stock are encouraging signs in spite of the continued drought conditions in Tenterfield Shire.
"NPWS and Office of Environment and Heritage staff are working to assess the damage to the park ecosystems through a variety of methods, including targeted flora and fauna surveys, camera surveillance of pest species and remote sensing analysis of fire severity.
"Snapshots of ecosystem recovery will be taken at 6 months, 12 months, 2 and 5 year intervals to track the recovery of the unique ecosystems in these parks."
Mr Richards said the temporary closures are an excellent opportunity to visit one of the other beautiful national parks in Tenterfield Shire such as Mt Mackenzie Nature Reserve, Torrington State Conservation Area or Currys Gap State Conservation Area.