NEARLY 450 people have asked Parks Victoria to invest in education of climbers and walkers in the Grampians National Park.
The organisation has released a report collating nearly 450 people's responses during workshops held in the region and in Melbourne last September, to inform the new Grampians Landscape Management Plan.
The plan will underpin decision making for the next 15 years to preserve the Grampians National Park's cultural and environmental values.
The organisation noted many people were caught off-guard by its sudden enforcing of restrictions to protect the park's Special Protection Areas.
"Many people that participated expressed frustration, and their belief (the decision) was made suddenly and without adequate evidence, and that supporting communication was unclear and at times factually incorrect," the report read.
"Many participants who identified as rock climbers shared that they had not been aware of the cultural values in the areas they climbed, and that their recreational activity could have been causing harm.
Read the full report below
"This feedback has been incorporated to the relevant satisfaction commentary and community ideas."
The report noted participants identified Zumsteins cottages and climbing sites established 60-100 years ago as examples of post-colonial cultural heritage values they felt important to see recognised and protected.
One respondent suggested: "No one involved in a recreation activity wants to harm the environment or cultural values. Perhaps highlight where cultural significant sites/art/sites of significant historical values are. I have been to the Grampians well over two dozen times and I have no idea what/where is culturally sensitive in that region."
Residents also suggested:
- Parks Victoria should work more closely with volunteers and local land holders to coordinate pest management programs.
- Creating ecology zones where visitation is limited or off limits, improving litter management, closing informal tracks and enforcing compliance
- Visitor education about fire safety and high-risk fire days, and the need to improve the ability to inform and track visitors during fires
- Apiarists voiced concerns with the management of bee sites, in particular the maintenance of sites after emergencies and removing debris to improve the accessibility and safety of sites
Parks Victoria is set to release a draft management plan for stakeholder feedback in June.
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