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.
Local community interest in the park’s horses, and the horses being identified as having local heritage value, led to the establishment of the Guy Fawkes River National Park Horse Steering Committee in October 2002. This local community-based committee was key to the development of a draft horse management plan, which was exhibited from December 2003 to March 2004.
In December 2004 this committee was replaced by the Guy Fawkes River National Park Horse Reference Group, an expert panel set up to help review the planning and implementation of a horse capture and removal program. The panel 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 a trial capture program undertaken in the park during 2004-05.
All comments received during the exhibition of the draft plan were taken into account in the finalisation of this 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.