Your chance to secure better management for one of Victoria’s most popular, and most precious, parks.

It’s 15 years since Parks Victoria last produced a management plan for Grampians National Park, and many things have changed since then. Pest plant and animals are widespread, fire is more frequent, and visitor numbers have increased exponentially.

Parks Victoria, in consultation with Traditional Owner Groups, has started the process for a regional management plan that covers Grampians National Park, Black Range State Park (to the west), and nine smaller reserves in the Greater Gariwerd area.

Please send Parks Victoria your call for better management by this Sunday, 6 October.

Grampians National Park is home to a remarkable 975 native plants (1/3 of all Victoria’s plant species), 230 native birds, and around ninety native mammals, reptiles, frogs and fish. Many of these species are only found in the Grampians.

It also holds nearly 90% of Victoria’s Aboriginal rock art sites, making it an extremely important park for the protection of Victoria’s cultural heritage.

And the park is magnificent, as anyone who has seen those ancient and rugged sandstone escarpments lit up by a golden sunrise will agree.

But while many good management programs are in place by Parks Victoria, is falling short of handling the threats to the park. Red deer are rampant, and feral cats, foxes and goats are getting out of control. And now, with well over a million visitors a year, the park is in great need of a visitor management program that will serve the park for the next decade at least.

Visitation is increasing and there are now thousands of rock-climbing and bouldering sites through the park, creating possibly 1,000 km of informal, unplanned access tracks throughout the Grampians and the Black Range. While most rock climbers care for the park, it is an activity that has grown dramtically. It will have to be carefully managed in the future if we are to protect our native flora and fauna, and the parks’ many cultural sites.

The park management plan needs to ensure that all ecological, landscape and heritage elements are appropriately protected and managed.

Please go to https://engage.vic.gov.au/grampians-management-plan and take a few minutes to fill in the boxes as appropriate (note that some boxes are marked ‘required’).

Under “How satisfied are you with how the landscape is managed?” a guide is provided below:

Here are some key point you might like to make in the text boxes:

  • Under “If you are unsatisfied with a management theme above, please explain why”, say something like:

o   While much good work has been done, it’s crucial that pest plants and animals are brought under control, and that needs increased resources.

o   Access for appropriate recreation for the whole community is important, but these days that has to be very carefully planned and managed. Informal track creation, for example, just can’t continue.

  • Under “What is the number one thing you want to see change with the management of the landscape”, say something like:

o   There needs to be a clear park zoning system that ensures all ecological, landscape and heritage elements are appropriately protected, and that that is consistently managed through proper enforcement and community engagement.

o   Increased resources and expertise must be secured for the management of the Grampians over the next 10 years.

  • Under “What are your ideas for how we can balance recreation activities and prevent harm to environmental and cultural values”, say something like::

o    It is not a matter of ‘balance’ or compromise. The prime purpose of national parks is to protect our natural heritage, this must be the priority.

o   Planning for recreation and tourism must be compatible with the restoration of habitat integrity across the park estate, and the protection of vulnerable cultural sites.”

  • Under “In 2050, future generations will describe the Grampians landscape as …”, say something like:

o   The Grampians landscape protects thriving communities of native plants and animals, and its management under the effects of climate change has been exemplary. Victorians continue to be inspired by its natural and cultural wonders, and actively support its well-resourced, evidence-based management.

Please make your submission by midnight this Sunday, 6 October. https://engage.vic.gov.au/grampians-management-plan

Many thanks for taking part! Every submission counts. Parks Victoria expects to release a draft management plan by June 2010.

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