NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Resorts Manager Andrew Harrigan said the state’s four alpine resorts were embracing environmental management with a spirit of cooperation.
“The alpine resorts collectively cover only 3,000 hectares of a total of 700,000 in Kosciuszko National Park and they are like towns, with day populations peaking at around 30,000 people and overnight populations of around 10,000.
“This puts enormous pressure on the sensitive alpine and subalpine environment and of the 33 performance indicators tracked, I am pleased to see more than half showing improvement this reporting period.”
Mr Harrigan said resort visitors were responding to educational campaigns and playing an important role in protecting the environment.
“At Perisher, it’s good to see most lodges using less water than the industry benchmark of 220 litres per night per person, and collectively the resorts are recycling 30 per cent of their waste.
“Also, some visitors previously mistook native mammals like Broad-toothed rats, bush rats and antechinuses for vermin, but now people are recognising these protected species and borrowing humane catch-and-release traps from the Parks Service or from their resort.”
Mr Harrigan said the resorts were taking active measures to prevent pollution, ensure water quality, conserve water and energy, regenerate landscapes, and to protect threatened species.
“Endangered Mountain Pygmy-possums had been declining at Perisher and Charlotte Pass resorts but due to enhanced predator control, habitat protection and the favourable weather conditions, we have recorded an increase in their populations this year.
“All resorts have both improved their fuel management systems which has helped to safeguard the environment from potential contamination.
“These are but a few examples of the positive steps being taken and I encourage everyone to read the full Alpine Resorts Environmental Performance Report on www.environment.nsw.gov.au, particularly if you are planning a visit to the snow,” Mr Harrigan said.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is working to increase visitation to National Parks and also empowering visitors to help care for environments like the magnificent NSW alpine resorts.