The aspiration, photo: Mike Bremers

We were pleased to see ACT minister for the environment and heritage Mick Gentleman supporting the efforts of his NSW and Victorian counterparts to manage horse populations in the Australian Alps.

In recent letters to NSW environment minister Matt Kean and Victorian environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister Gentleman offered his strongest support to their commitment to control horses in the Australian Alps and encouraged the implementation of effective management plans.

>> Read Minister Gentleman’s letter to Minister Kean

>> Read Minister Gentleman’s letter to Minister D’Ambrosio

The ACT Government has taken a strong stance to prevent horse populations establishing in Namadgi National Park, which adjoins NSW’s Kosciuszko National Park. The large number of horses present in Kosciuszko presents the greatest risk of horses moving into Namadgi.

Recognising the ecosystem impacts the horses could have if they crossed the border, the ACT Government has led the way in horse management with a zero tolerance policy towards the presence of feral horses.

Through early detection and intervention approaches, horse populations have been prevented from establishing in Namadgi.

Investing in a forward-thinking, preventative approach is a win for all parties:

  • The sub-alpine wetlands and other habitats aren’t degraded by horse hooves
  • Sphagnum bogs which supply water to Canberra and Queanbeyan survive
  • Less resources (i.e. time and money) are spent on horse management, freeing up resources for other important conservation efforts (check out the ACT’s efforts to save the critically endangered northern corroboree frog)
  • And perhaps most importantly of all, no/very few horses have to be removed.