Green light for horse riding trial

STARTING this month, Kosciuszko National Park will open two new horse riding trails to the public.

The trails that will become available are the Nine Mile trail and Ingeegoodbee trail.

The two year horse riding trial will also be opened in Deua, Monga, Curracabundi and Mummel Gulf National Parks.

According to the State Government, the pilot program is part of a diverse range of recreational experiences created to ensure the communities of NSW can enjoy national parks and reserves.

Regular monitoring will be used to record data on the condition of the park during the trial period. This will enable early detection of any adverse impacts which will then be reported publicly.

However, not everyone can agree that this recreational activity is suitable for wilderness areas.

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Luke Foley, slammed the O'Farrell Government for opening these sacred areas to such an activity.

"The Act explicitly directs that wilderness areas should only be open to "self reliant" recreation. Riding a horse is hardly self-reliant," Mr Foley said.

Greens MLC and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, said the trial was successful due to a deal cut with a group of horse riding associations in 2006, when the coalition was desperate to get into power.

"Study after study has shown that horses are a significant vector of weed dispersal. This is a government that refuses to listen to science and refuses to implement sound environmental management or use the precautionary principle to avoid irreversible damage to our ecosystems," Dr Faruqi said.

The Kosciuszko National Park trails were opened to the public officially on Saturday April 12.

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