Monday, June 24, 2024

Queensland rangers facing sticky situation

Visitors to Queensland’s Carnarvon National Park are being encouraged to minimise their impact and leave the park as beautiful as when they arrived, after rangers reported the dumping of hundreds of “walking sticks” at the park’s exit points.

Carnarvon National Park Ranger in Charge, Lindie Pasma, said rangers had noticed a significant increase in the number of sticks being left at walking track exits within the Carnarvon Gorge section of the national park.

“In April alone, rangers collected 146 walking sticks that had been left at Crossing 1 exit,” she said.

“This is only a small portion of walking sticks being picked up daily by visitors to help them across creek crossings or steep sections of the walk.

“The number of sticks being taken out of the bush has significantly increased since April with an increase in the number of walkers and hikers visiting the park since the start of winter.

“Visitors might think it’s only one stick, but it can have a very large, accumulated effect over time.

A dumped wlaking stick collection at the park.

“The sticks being removed are habitat for many small critters such as insects, lizards, birds, fungi and moss, and the removal of just one stick can impact these animals in lots of different ways.

“Carnarvon Gorge is a beautiful, inspiring, and culturally significant place, and we encourage all visitors to minimise their impact and leave the park as beautiful as it was when you arrived.”

She said specialised hiking poles that can be purchased from most camping and hiking stores for as little as $30.

“Hiking poles not only reduce the need for hikers to remove sticks from the natural environment, but they are also useful for reducing the impact on walker’s legs, knees and ankles, can be a valuable safety device, and can be used over and over again,” said Ranger Pasma.

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