About Reclaim Kosci
What’s so bad about the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act?
There are two fundamental problems with the new legislation introduced by local member and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and passed on 6 June 2018.
Firstly, the new law overrides the legal protection provided to the native plants and animals of the national park, allowing the health of the park to be compromised. The new horse heritage plan to be developed to protect the feral horses in the park can explicitly over-ride the legal protection for native wildlife provided by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act. In a worrying precedent, government can designate large parts of Kosciuszko National Park for horse protection regardless of the ongoing negative impacts that would result.
While this legislation stands, feral horses will have a higher status than the native wildlife of the national park.
Secondly, the new law was imposed without warning, consultation or broad community support, showing contempt for three years of community engagement that led to the compromise 2016 draft horse plan of management. The law that passed Parliament two weeks after being announced only pleases those that don’t want horses removed from the park and a local horse-riding business.
Reclaim Kosci seeks:
- To raise awareness about the impacts of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.
- Repeal of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018.
- A substantial reduction in the feral horse population in Kosciuszko National Park through humane and effective means.
This situation will irresponsibly allow feral horses to further spread, expanding their impacts throughout the national park and on visitors, motorists and neighbouring land holders.
The law was roundly condemned, including by the IUCN, the Australian Academy of Science, the ACT Government, the RSPCA and members of the government’s own expert technical committee, the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee has subsequently listed the impacts of feral horses as a key threatening process, in large part due to their impacts on Kosciuszko National Park.
Our team is supported by national and state environmental organisations led by the Invasive Species Council and including the National Parks Association of the ACT, National Parks Association of NSW, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
Richard has worked for 25 years as an indigenous guide within Kosciuszko National Park.
Having spent his life in the Snowy Mountains he has seen first-hand the huge impact feral animals are having on the park and the threatened species that rely on Kosciuszko for survival. He is passionate about educating the public on the true history of landscape changes and degradation over the past 230 years.
Alison is now deeply passionate about species diversity and the conservation of Australia’s native plants and animals.
She has a strong background in education, and holds a Bachelor of Science (GeoScience) as well as a Bachelor of Education.
Her deep commitment to caring for Australia’s native animals is reflected in her volunteer work with wildlife rescue and rehabilitation groups. She also owns and runs an ecotourism business within the Snowy Mountains.
Jess is a consultant ecologist with a BSc in Biology, First Class Honours in landscape ecology and working towards an Advanced Master of Environmental Science.
Being an avid horse rider of 17 years and having spent time in North America rehabilitating and training rescued horses, she is passionate about animal welfare.
“There is a place for all creatures, but a very small, unique, and delicate national park is not the one for horses”.
Jess loves the mountains, the snow and is passionate about conserving and rehabilitating the precious endemic biodiversity of Kosciusko National Park.
Wilson is the Natural Areas Campaigner for the Colong Foundation for Wilderness and is also working on the Reclaim Kosci campaign. He has a background in geography, policy and international relations. He grew up on the NSW south coast surrounded by bush and is passionate about bushwalking, Australia’s flora and fauna and its ecosystems.
“Australia’s fragile, alpine ecosystems already face existential threats from climate change, land clearing and soil erosion. Providing legal protection to destructive feral horses adds insult to injury, and will push this region closer to the tipping point.”
Steph runs a range of citizen science programs for the National Parks Association of NSW, which has played a large role in the establishment of many national parks and nature reserves in that state.
She is passionate about science, conservation and environmental education, and believes that if enough passionate people work together they can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting Australia’s natural world from threats including habitat loss and invasive species.