Fungi – the Forgotten Kingdom

David Noble, Member, National Parks Association of NSW

When you look at an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or National Park Plan of Management, you always see sections on flora and fauna, but seldom even a mention of Fungi. The Fungi Kingdom seems to be somewhat neglected.

This should not be the case as fungi are found in all environments. They are around the roots of most plants, and in the stomachs of most animals. They range in size from microscopic yeasts to huge fungal mycelium that thread their way through hundreds of hectares. They make up perhaps 25% of the biomass.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Dr Helen Smith, Activitives Officer, National Parks Association of NSW

Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing natural areas trashed by current and previous visitors. Particularly when we all work so hard to protect natural places through our campaigns at the NPA. But protecting natural areas isn’t just about being loud through media coverage and campaigns. It also comes down to setting a good example to others when we’re out exploring.

We know we’re preaching to the converted here, but it’s worth refreshing the Leave No Trace Principles so you can clearly articulate them and their importance to others. Leave No Trace Australia is an organisation dedicated to inspiring and promoting responsible use of the outdoors through research, partnerships and education. The Leave No Trace guidelines describe best practice for visiting natural areas. They consist of seven principles:

Adventure World Racing Championships 2016

Bob Sneddon and Tony Hill, NPA members and former members of the South Coast Regional Advisory Council

In November 2016 Adventure Racing World Championships were held in South Coast Region national parks including Morton National Park and Budawang Wilderness.  Ninety-eight teams of four members made their way from one destination to another by foot and on bicycles along formed and unformed tracks that were chosen by their navigators as the fastest route.

Events such as this, especially when held in declared Wilderness Areas, are contrary to the intent and legality of the plans of management for these areas. The Act is specific: national parks and wilderness are for “appropriate” recreation.

A Better Future for Public Native Forests

It’s possible with diverse community support

Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, National Parks Association of NSW

Last year the National Parks Association NSW (NPA) released a report that showed how, despite being a noble attempt to marry some pretty uncomfortable bedfellows (logging, conservation and recreation), the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) have failed in all of their high level aims. From protecting the environment to maintaining long-term economic stability and jobs in forest industries, the RFAs have not worked. A new approach is desperately needed writes Oisín Sweeney.

Will the Darling River Survive?

Terry Korn, President, Australian Floodplain Association

The health of the Darling River system is at a tipping point. Can the system survive the next round of negotiations over how it should be managed? Terry Korn, president of the Australian Floodplain Association discusses a major issue of concern which could seriously impact on recovery of water for the environment, floodplain graziers, Aboriginal culture and small communities downstream of Bourke.

The Australian government has committed almost $15 billion to the largest rural restructure program in Australia and expects to effect significant changes to water management in the Murray-Darling Basin without affecting the reliability of water supply to the irrigation industry. This is an admirable but unreal aspiration.