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Celebrating the achievements of landcarers

04/12/2017

The Tamar Island Wetland Cares Volunteer Group has been recognised in the 2017 Landcare Tasmania Awards.More

Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Walls of Jerusalem Recreation Zone Plan 2013

The full version of the Walls of Jerusalem Recreation Zone Plan 2013 is available for download as a PDF  [1.4MB].

Schedule of Public Representations and Responses

The public comment period for the draft Walls for Jerusalem Recreation Zone Plan closed on 19th July, after six weeks. During the comment period three briefing sessions were held with target stakeholders. Representations from all submissions are summarised together with the PWS response, and are available for download as a PDF [758 KB]

Summary

The Walls of Jerusalem is a majestic place in the heart of an alpine wilderness. It is the second-most popular backcountry walking destination in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, with 4-5,000 visitors annually, and is a favoured area for beginner to intermediate walkers. 

The area of greatest visitation, the 3,283 hectare Recreation Zone, is coincident with very high conservation values. It is a very scenic area which has, to date, remained relatively pristine despite high use. It is also an ecological refugia in light of potential climate change. 

The iconic grassy pencil pine forests at Dixons Kingdom, the only such extensive communities in the world, are a good example of the coincidence of high scenic, recreational and conservation values in the Walls of Jerusalem area. Fire is a key threat to the area’s values, particularly the pencil pine communities and the scenic values of which they are a critical part. Hence priority conservation management issues are the exclusion of fire; the maintenance of sensitive natural values in the light of climate change; and maximising the naturalness of the area (including minimising trampling impacts and the maintenance of high water quality). 

Use of the area by commercial guided walking groups is significant and is likely to increase with increasing publicity. School outdoor education programs are also major users of the area. Both these user groups and some private groups can form large parties that can impact the environment and the experience of others.

The Recreation Zone contains more than 31 kilometres of walking tracks of which 6.5 kilometres has been hardened with timber or stone. Active deterioration is occurring on some unimproved track sections and campsites. Illegal campfire use is on the rise and, prior to installation of a temporary toilet at Dixons Kingdom, poor toileting practices were frequently noted. 

The purpose of this plan is to describe management actions that aim to protect both the area’s high conservation values and the visitor’s experience. These actions include: 

Tracks 
• Creation of a circuit loop. Relevant sections of the Dixons Kingdom – Lake Ball – Lake Adelaide track will be reclassified and upgraded, creating a circuit of track class T1 and T2. This allows a maximum party size of 13 throughout and creates a loop track option for large groups and commercial trips. This upgrade is a significant change to the present situation, and will require medium-long term track works (campsite upgrades, track re-routes and hardening). 

• Promotion of three types of Walls experiences. Once track and campsite upgrades are completed, it is proposed to promote specific day walk (to Wild Dog Creek and Central Walls), overnight walk (Wild Dog Creek and Dixons Kingdom) and a multi-day circuit walk (overnights at Wild Dog Creek, Dixons Kingdom and/or Lake Adelaide) experiences. The hardened side routes to the Temple, Solomons Throne and Mt Jerusalem will be incorporated in such promotion but other routes in the Walls of Jerusalem area will not be actively promoted. 

Camping 
• New and expanded hardened campsites. The existing hardened camping area at Wild Dog Creek will be expanded and a new hardened camping area will be constructed at Dixons Kingdom. Another hardened campsite at Lake Adelaide is likely to be constructed in the medium term. 
• No camping in the Central Walls. Once the upgrades of Wild Dog Creek and Dixons Kingdom campsites are complete, camping in the Central Walls area will be disallowed. 

Visitor Management 
• Track ranger presence. A track ranger presence is urgently required to redress increasing use of campfires, promote Leave No Trace principles and to educate users. 
• Education campaign. Appropriate educational messages will be distributed at both a site-specific level and more broadly. 
• Large group management. From the 2013-14 summer season groups of 7 or more members will be required to register to camp within the Recreation Zone. This requirement will initially apply to commercial, school and outdoor education groups only. Other groups will be encouraged to register their camping trips as this will help them and other users identify heavy use periods. Once the proposed new group campsites have been established, all groups of 7 or more members will be required to book to camp within the Recreation Zone. 
• Web-based booking system. Investigate the feasibility of a web-based booking system for all users, taking account of the costs and benefits to users, management and the environment.