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199604 [2020/04/20 09:00]
ljclarke6
199604 [2020/06/25 00:43] (current)
ljclarke6 [THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER]
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 |**Conservation Secretary**| Alex Colley| |**Conservation Secretary**| Alex Colley|
 |**Magazine Editor**| George Mawer| |**Magazine Editor**| George Mawer|
-|**Committee Members**| Morie Ward & Janet Trevor-Roberts|+|**Committee Members**| Morie Ward & Jennifer Trevor-Roberts|
 |**Delegates to Confederation**| Ken Smith &  Wilf Hilder, Jim Callaway| |**Delegates to Confederation**| Ken Smith &  Wilf Hilder, Jim Callaway|
  
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 **WHAT AREA ARE WE NOMINATING?** **WHAT AREA ARE WE NOMINATING?**
 +
 The nomination is for most of the national park lands in the Grose catchment. The nomination excludes substantial human built features incompatible with wilderness, namely: the public roads - Hat Hill Rd, Victoria Falls Lookout Rd and the Bell to Mt Tomah stretch of the Bell Rd; sections of the main grid powerlines between Lawson and Katoomba; the walking tracks into the valley from Perry's Lookdown, Govett's Leap and Evan's Lookout and the Acacia Flat camping ground. The other main Walking tracks to Blue Gum Forest and the forest itself would be within the wilderness area but there would be **no** constraints on the continued existence and use of these walking routes if declared wilderness. Blue Gum Forest would become the gateway to the Grose Wilderness for people entering via the major walking tracks. The nomination is for most of the national park lands in the Grose catchment. The nomination excludes substantial human built features incompatible with wilderness, namely: the public roads - Hat Hill Rd, Victoria Falls Lookout Rd and the Bell to Mt Tomah stretch of the Bell Rd; sections of the main grid powerlines between Lawson and Katoomba; the walking tracks into the valley from Perry's Lookdown, Govett's Leap and Evan's Lookout and the Acacia Flat camping ground. The other main Walking tracks to Blue Gum Forest and the forest itself would be within the wilderness area but there would be **no** constraints on the continued existence and use of these walking routes if declared wilderness. Blue Gum Forest would become the gateway to the Grose Wilderness for people entering via the major walking tracks.
  
 **HOW IS WILDERNESS DEFINED AND MANAGED?** **HOW IS WILDERNESS DEFINED AND MANAGED?**
 +
 New South Wales has had a Wilderness Act since 1987, Which lists the following criteria for wilderness identification: New South Wales has had a Wilderness Act since 1987, Which lists the following criteria for wilderness identification:
  
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 **IS THIS AREA LARGE ENOUGH TO BE A WILDERNESS?** **IS THIS AREA LARGE ENOUGH TO BE A WILDERNESS?**
 +
 There are twenty four declared and several unprotected wilderness areas in NSW. At 55,000 hectares the Grose Wilderness would be larger than 50 percent of those areas which range in size from areas like Levers Plateau There are twenty four declared and several unprotected wilderness areas in NSW. At 55,000 hectares the Grose Wilderness would be larger than 50 percent of those areas which range in size from areas like Levers Plateau
 15442 ha), Bogong Peaks (27494 ha) and Nattai (30424 ha) to our largest areas like Kanangra-Boyd (130000 ha), Macleay Gorges (165392 ha) and Wollemi (433530 ha). In terms of meeting **b**) in the above criteria there is certainly a large enough area to maintain its natural systems. Furthermore there is a natural link through national parkland to the north with the massive Wollemi Wilderness Area, the areas being separated in places only by a two lane road and adjacent powerlines. 15442 ha), Bogong Peaks (27494 ha) and Nattai (30424 ha) to our largest areas like Kanangra-Boyd (130000 ha), Macleay Gorges (165392 ha) and Wollemi (433530 ha). In terms of meeting **b**) in the above criteria there is certainly a large enough area to maintain its natural systems. Furthermore there is a natural link through national parkland to the north with the massive Wollemi Wilderness Area, the areas being separated in places only by a two lane road and adjacent powerlines.
  
 **IS IT TOO DEGRADED TO BE WILDERNESS?** **IS IT TOO DEGRADED TO BE WILDERNESS?**
 +
 As a result of urban development in part of the upper catchment the area contains some weed infestations, however these are confined to areas along the major rivers and streams downstream of intense urban development. Groups such as Friends of Blue Gum Forest and members of Confederation in conjunction with NPWS have been actively controlling weeds such as Gorse and Broom. Wilderness management places high priority on eradication programs for weeds and feral animals. The water quality problems mainly arise from Blue Mountains sewerage and urban runoff entering the catchment. An upgrading of the Blue Mountains sewerage system is presently underway. If stormwater basins are also installed at the edge of bushland to clean up urban runoff. As a result of urban development in part of the upper catchment the area contains some weed infestations, however these are confined to areas along the major rivers and streams downstream of intense urban development. Groups such as Friends of Blue Gum Forest and members of Confederation in conjunction with NPWS have been actively controlling weeds such as Gorse and Broom. Wilderness management places high priority on eradication programs for weeds and feral animals. The water quality problems mainly arise from Blue Mountains sewerage and urban runoff entering the catchment. An upgrading of the Blue Mountains sewerage system is presently underway. If stormwater basins are also installed at the edge of bushland to clean up urban runoff.
  
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 **PAST AND PRESENT HUMAN ACTIVITIES** **PAST AND PRESENT HUMAN ACTIVITIES**
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 As mentioned the nomination does not include the area of highest visitation incorporating the formal camping area at Acacia Flat and part of Govett's Gorge bounded by the Perry's Lookdown and Rodriguez Pass tracks plus the public roads to Perry's Lookdown and Victoria Falls. Their management can then continue to cater for the large number of visitors received and the tracks and other facilities maintained or upgraded. Walking tracks in the wilderness eg Pierces Pass would certainly remain as natural trails due to continuing use by walkers. Foot tracks formed along popular routes may occur in wilderness areas, the Budawang area being an obvious example. The idea is not to construct or mark any new tracks in wilderness areas. Other remnants of human activity include the Engineers bridle track from 1858, sections of which can still be found and walked and some small remains of mining venture for shale and coal between the 1870's and 1950's. As mentioned the nomination does not include the area of highest visitation incorporating the formal camping area at Acacia Flat and part of Govett's Gorge bounded by the Perry's Lookdown and Rodriguez Pass tracks plus the public roads to Perry's Lookdown and Victoria Falls. Their management can then continue to cater for the large number of visitors received and the tracks and other facilities maintained or upgraded. Walking tracks in the wilderness eg Pierces Pass would certainly remain as natural trails due to continuing use by walkers. Foot tracks formed along popular routes may occur in wilderness areas, the Budawang area being an obvious example. The idea is not to construct or mark any new tracks in wilderness areas. Other remnants of human activity include the Engineers bridle track from 1858, sections of which can still be found and walked and some small remains of mining venture for shale and coal between the 1870's and 1950's.
  
 **ROAD CLOSURES** **ROAD CLOSURES**
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 The most significant recent human impact was the construction of many kilometres of fire trails along most ridge tops surrounding the valley in the 1960's. These trails now range in condition from impassable and overgrown to officially closed excepting management vehicles to freely open for public use. They have on the whole become redundant for fire fighting purposes with the use of aircraft now preferred as both more effective and of less risk to firefighters. After some consulting with member clubs Confederation has chosen to take a consistent approach for all of these vehicular trails within the wilderness boundary in supporting their closure and rehabilitation with parking facilities relocated where required. Our view is that the roads should be revegetated with future access along these ridges on foot only. The road closures affecting popular walking areas with lengths of closure (ie extra walking required) are as follows: Faulconbridge Point Rd - 6km to the Grose River Walking Track or 7km to the lookout; the Mt Kay Rd - 5km out to the Lockleys Pylon track Head or 9.5km to the Mt Hay track; Burramoko Ridge Rd - 4.5km to Baltzer Lookout; Pierces Pass Rd - 800 metres only with parking and picnic facilities relocated. Mt Banks Rd 1km, also with relocated facilities. Some trails in the Patterson Range area would also require closure. The most significant recent human impact was the construction of many kilometres of fire trails along most ridge tops surrounding the valley in the 1960's. These trails now range in condition from impassable and overgrown to officially closed excepting management vehicles to freely open for public use. They have on the whole become redundant for fire fighting purposes with the use of aircraft now preferred as both more effective and of less risk to firefighters. After some consulting with member clubs Confederation has chosen to take a consistent approach for all of these vehicular trails within the wilderness boundary in supporting their closure and rehabilitation with parking facilities relocated where required. Our view is that the roads should be revegetated with future access along these ridges on foot only. The road closures affecting popular walking areas with lengths of closure (ie extra walking required) are as follows: Faulconbridge Point Rd - 6km to the Grose River Walking Track or 7km to the lookout; the Mt Kay Rd - 5km out to the Lockleys Pylon track Head or 9.5km to the Mt Hay track; Burramoko Ridge Rd - 4.5km to Baltzer Lookout; Pierces Pass Rd - 800 metres only with parking and picnic facilities relocated. Mt Banks Rd 1km, also with relocated facilities. Some trails in the Patterson Range area would also require closure.
  
 **YOUR SUPPORT** **YOUR SUPPORT**
 +
 There were probably a few Collective winces as some of you read those extra walking distances. Possibly not as loud as was heard in the 1930's when walkers learned of the imminent clearing of Blue Gum Forest and sprung into action to save it from the axe. Nor in the following decades as the wild ridges were tamed with fire roads and proposals flagged for roads into the valley.   Confederation was formed as a result of the efforts to secure the future of Blue Gum and the surrounding valley. This area could rightfully be called the birthplace of conservation in Australia. In supporting the wilderness proposal, road closures and all, walkers can show that our conservation ethic is as strong as ever and not necessarily provisional on our recreational interests being served.  Wilderness statistics compiled from the Wilderness Red Index published by the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. There were probably a few Collective winces as some of you read those extra walking distances. Possibly not as loud as was heard in the 1930's when walkers learned of the imminent clearing of Blue Gum Forest and sprung into action to save it from the axe. Nor in the following decades as the wild ridges were tamed with fire roads and proposals flagged for roads into the valley.   Confederation was formed as a result of the efforts to secure the future of Blue Gum and the surrounding valley. This area could rightfully be called the birthplace of conservation in Australia. In supporting the wilderness proposal, road closures and all, walkers can show that our conservation ethic is as strong as ever and not necessarily provisional on our recreational interests being served.  Wilderness statistics compiled from the Wilderness Red Index published by the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
 +
  
 ====== RAIN ====== ====== RAIN ======
  
 It rained and rained and rained It rained and rained and rained
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 The average fall was well maintained The average fall was well maintained
 +
 And when the tracks were simply bogs And when the tracks were simply bogs
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 It started raining cats and dogs It started raining cats and dogs
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 After a drought of half an hour After a drought of half an hour
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 We had a most refreshing shower We had a most refreshing shower
 +
 And then most curious thing of all And then most curious thing of all
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 A gentle rain began to fall A gentle rain began to fall
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 Next day but one was fairly dry Next day but one was fairly dry
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 Save for one deluge from the sky Save for one deluge from the sky
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 Which wetted the party to the skin Which wetted the party to the skin
 +
 And then at last the rain set in And then at last the rain set in
 +
 Anonymous Anonymous
-submitted by Peter Rossel+ 
 +submitted by **Peter Rossel**
  
199604.1587373231.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/04/20 09:00 by ljclarke6