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Title: Wilderness in Australia: what's happening in a world context

Author: Buckley, Ralf;

Date: 2000

Source: In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 2: Wilderness within the context of larger systems; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 190-193

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Wilderness in Australia has no formal legal designation at a national level as it does in the United States. In addition, new federal environmental legislation abdicates responsibility almost entirely to the States. A national wilderness inventory has recently been completed, but abandoned by the current federal government. Almost all wilderness recreation in Australia is in national parks, which are in fact a State designation, and in World Heritage areas. Private recreation and commercial tourism are growing rapidly in these areas, pushing into backcountry wilderness as well as frontcountry, increasing impacts and consuming an ever greater proportion of diminishing management budgets. Park managers are seeking funds from tourism to contribute to operating costs, and examining tour operator accreditation schemes to reduce per capita impacts.

There are no national forests in Australia, only State forests, and these are managed almost entirely for logging. The Regional Forest Agreements, a joint federal-state political process supposed to allocate public forests appropriately between production forests and new parks, has led to accelerated logging in wilderness areas of high conservation value, minuscule increases in the protected area estate, and little or no increase in management budgets. The tourism industry is now sufficiently concerned at this decrease in scenic destinations that it has begun, albeit barely, to lobby in concert with conservation groups for a form of tourism land tenure or recreation reserve, analogous to the wilderness areas managed by the United States Forest Service.

Keywords: wilderness, legistlation, recreation, tourism, impacts, Australia

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Buckley, Ralf 2000. Wilderness in Australia: what''s happening in a world context. In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 2: Wilderness within the context of larger systems; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 190-193

 


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