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Monday, February 04, 2013

On legalised Shooting in National Parks

I have been challenged in my opposition to legalisation of shooting in National Parks in NSW. That occurred on the Canberra Ornithologists Group email forum.
  • Hi All,
    Maybe I'm just ignorant, but why are you against this hunting? From what I understand, the hunt will be on invasive large mammals, which are unbelieveably destructive in a lot of National Parks. Isn't it a good thing to allow people who want to shoot them for free shoot them? The parks will be closed during the hunts, so what's the danger to the public? 
    Also, according to this website, duck hunting cannot take place on National Parklands.

    (name removed to protect the innocent)
  • Re shooting in National Parks, my main concern is personal safety.

  • Dear (blank)
    Last year there was a tragic accident when a NZ shooter mistook a school teacher for a deer, and shot and killed her.
    Such "accidents" are not unknown - though usually shooters shoot other members in their own group.

    I live adjacent to the huge Morton National Park (see map attached). 

  • the huge Morton National Park
    accessible from 4 totally separate areas
    with no common Media service.

    It has two State Main Roads which run through it, the Braidwood to Nowra Road (Main Road 92) and Fitzroy Falls to Nowra road. And it can also be accessed from the Ulladulla side.
    And it has numerous other entry points (especially around Kangaroo Valley).

    The media for these far-spread  areas are controlled in Nowra, Goulburn and Bowral.
    One cannot listen to all sources of media in any one point. There are at least three local newspapers which purport to "cover" their own regions (but they do not co-ordinate)..
    How are they going to get the word out to me that the Park is closed?

    There is no way they can possibly close main roads of economic and strategic significance leading to and from Canberra to Nowra. So, short of blocking 100 minor roads, how do they "close" this Park?
    NPWS have inadequate staffing to do that at the best of times - let alone when the NPWS Staff are openly hostile to the idea.

    The NSW Game Council, the State Organisation "responsible" for this Shooting Program has hardly any staff at all. It really exists as a revenue raiser for NSW as the Licensing body for the Shooters.

    Beyond issues of safety, my personal interest is in rare and endangered Orchids (of which this Park is well endowed). What chance is there that a bunch of ill-informed shooters will take any notice or concern for tiny Orchids in the leaf litter, when slipping and sliding down a steep hill-side, in search of their prey?

    They would have no idea of what damage they might be doing.
  • Need I really go on?

    Incidentally, in the hundreds of hours I have spent in this Park I have never seen any Deer, nor Goats and only one suckling Pig which I reported to the nearby farm from which it had escaped several days before.

    This is a vastly different situation from the large numbers of wild Pigs and Goats in the Far Western region, near Broken Hill.

    Incidentally,. my personal experience of shooters I have known is that they like to take their "Pig Dogs" out in the bush and let them chase "Game". The usual result is badly mauled Wombats and Kangaroos - both of which are protected species.

    Mark Clayton has already affirmed that after hundreds of banding trips to Charcoal Tank and Buddigower, he has seldom seen any "game animals" in those Nature Reserves (both listed on the Parks to be opened to shooters)
  • Denis Wilson

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