What is a management plan?
Management plans outline the vision, goals, measures and long-term strategies used in managing national and state parks. These are written every 15 years and are required as part of the National Parks Act 1975.
A landscape-wide approach is used in developing the plan. This means that land bordering the park is also considered as this can influence how a park operates. This approach is important especially for smaller parcels of land. For example, weeds or pet cats may enter the park from neighbouring properties causing problems for plants and animals in the park.
How are management plans useful for students?
Management plans are very useful documents for people studying national parks or those wanting to learn more about their favourite parks. They provide species lists and information about the major threats and conservation work in the park.
Further direction for management for specific areas within a park is provided through zones and overlays. Particular uses can be allowed in a park zone without affecting the overall management objective for the park. For example a Recreation Zone provides visitor facilities like campgrounds and picnic areas for human enjoyment whereas Conservation Zones allocate land for the protection of natural and/or cultural assets and prohibit recreational activities.
Planning for new parks
Despite many parks having a high level of scenic beauty, new park planning is not based solely on an area’s scenic beauty. National parks are declared for a variety of reasons including for the protection of historic and cultural assets, visitor enjoyment, the protection of plants and animals and for the provision of habitat as a part of wider landscape scale protection.