This study examines the ecological, social and economic impact of controlled grazing in specific national parks. This ongoing study was recommended by the Natural Resources Commission.
The parks involved in the study include:
- those already being grazed due to their conversion from state forests to national park, so the study is an extension of an existing use
- those declared under the National Park Estate (Riverina Red Gum Reservations) Act 2010 and the National Park Estate (South-western Cypress Reservations) Act 2010.
Like all lands in the reserve system, lands that are subject to the grazing study are regulated under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Why do we allow grazing in national parks?
Grazing already occurs under current policy in some national parks, such as Oolambeyan National Park in the Riverina region. Grazing is permitted when it can be linked to conservation outcomes.
The study is being overseen by an independent facilitator who reports to the Minister for the Environment. The facilitator oversees the assessment of the social, economic and ecological impacts and benefits of grazing. The facilitator receives advice from regional committees, experts and stakeholders on the design, implementation and monitoring of the study.
The ecological component of the grazing study, established and monitored under scientific principles, will provide the information needed to assess whether grazing can be undertaken to provide conservation benefits in the red gum and cypress reserves and associated lands.
The social and economic component of the study will look at non-ecological impacts and benefits of grazing.
Protecting wildlife and threatened species
Threatened species are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 which came into effect in August 2017. Like all lands in the national park system, the lands on which the grazing study will occur are regulated under this Act and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.