Small Parks project
Better protection for special places
Our Small Parks project involves working with local regional environment groups to document the values of, and threats to, areas of public land that are poorly managed or not protected as part of Victoria's parks system.
As part of that project we have launched an exciting new website encouraging people to get out and explore these 'natural gems' and learn about why they are so special.
The Register of Special Places website focuses on our first area of discovery, the forests and woodlands of central Victoria, where we have identified 20 'Special Places' in need of better management and protection.
Identifying our 20 'Special Places'
To come up with this list of 20 special places we spoke to local community groups and carried out an extensive analysis of the values and threats facing key sites across an area from Stawell in the west to Alexandra in the east.
The final 20 high conservation areas cover 115,000 hectares of public land, including the iconic Wellsford and Wombat state forests.
More than 111,000 hectares of this area is currently classified as state forest, the rest can be found in conservation reserves.
All areas require improved management, and tenure change in most cases, to improve their protection.
Many of the special places have great potential to become new 'small' parks in their own right or be added to Victoria's existing reserves.
This would not only protect the unique conservation values of these places, but also improve connectivity and build climate change resilience across the Victorian landscape.
Providing more resources for the management of these central Victorian natural icons will benefit the environment, tourism and local people.
Local groups are asking Labor and the Coalition to commit to:
- Protect the 20 priority areas listed on the website under the National Parks Act.
- Initiate a new Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) investigation to design the park boundaries as part of a larger biolink across the region.
- Provide a significant boost in management resources for new and existing parks in the region.
- Establish a $15 million initiative over four years to support landscape-scale habitat links, including in central Victoria.
Small parks report
We have produced a report calling on the Victorian Government to protect these areas by incorporating them into the reserve system and investing in better on-ground management to deal with the threats of timber harvesting, pest plants and animals, and inappropriate recreation.