The most recent additions to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) in 2013 included thirty six thousand hectares of land previously allocated to forestry activities, a large number of small Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas, and some other tenures.
The state government is currently proposing that some (not all) of the forestry land be added to existing Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas. There is a chance for the community to provide input. The Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA) is calling on the state government to think big and establish the Kooparoona Niara (Great Western Tiers) National Park.
See here. Please make a submission (closing date: 1 April).
In their submission, the TNPA calls on the state government to think of the big picture. There is no place within the TWWHA for the limited protection provided by Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas! There needs to be a review of the tenure of all of the land within the TWWHA that is not already national park with the intention of reserving all appropriate areas as national park.
Much of the former forestry land now proposed to be added to existing Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas lies around the base of the Great Western Tiers. Replacing a patchwork of former forestry land with a patchwork of small, low category reserves would be a small step in the right direction, but these blocks potentially fill in the gaps in the existing Mole Creek Karst National Park (currently several discrete blocks around cave entrances) and provide the opportunity for a new Kooparoona Niara (Great Western Tiers) National Park. The land is already protected by its World Heritage status, what has the government got to lose by protecting it securely as national park?
The TNPA is proud to join with The Wilderness Society, the Mole Creek Caving Club and Friends of Great Western Tiers, in proposing a new Kooparoona Niara (Great Western Tiers) National Park.
A new national park would provide the best possible protection for the land and the best possible opportunities for presentation (i.e. raise its profile as a nature-based tourism destination). It would also fulfil commitments made to the 2015 UNESCO monitoring mission.