STAGE 2 RESERVE PROPOSAL
The Stage 2 Reserve Proposal has been developed by the Gardens of Stone Alliance in a bid to secure protection and preserve 39,000 hectares of fragile Gardens of Stone wilderness that remains under threat.
© Ian Brown - Flannel flower, Newnes Plateau
This proposal includes all the remaining parts of the Newnes Plateau and surrounding sandstone uplands, that are in public ownership. It recommends that this area be preserved, principally, as State Conservation Areas*.
Environmentally and geologically valuable, the area the Stage 2 proposal includes some of the most magnificent and immensely rich wilderness in Australia - ancient rock pagodas formations, deep slot canyons; large caves and mazes; age-old montane heathlands, endangered upland swamps; snowgums, grassy woodlands and moist gullies that contain tree ferns; stands of old growth forest and rainforest.
It would also secure the outstanding ochre-coloured cliffs of the Blue Mountains' western escarpment, associated rate plant communities and see 1,000 plant species, a staggering 100 rare and threatened plants, animals and ecological communities protected.
It is made up four key areas, that stretch over 55 kms. from Medlow Bath to Newnes Plateau, north to the Capertee Valley and Mount Airly.
Ben Bullen and Wolgan State Forests, Great Dividing Range (10,000 hectares)
An evocative sandstone landscape that includes Baal Bone and massed rock pagoda 'villages' that stand high above the diverse and rare moist plain of Long Swamp.
Newnes Plateau (21,000 hectares)
Wollangambe Wilderness (2,380 hectares)
The environment groups' reserve proposal is an integrated plan of action to protect, manage and interpret the area's heritage. It will protect:
The proposed system of State Conservation Areas and Park extensions will greatly enhance the tourism in the central and western Blue Mountains, including the Lithgow region.
For more information on the proposal, you can read
Seeing the Gardens (July 2009)
GoS2 Proposal Illustrated (November 2005)
Footnote: Designated State Conservation Areas allow for underground mining, while protecting the areas of conservation value through National Parks and Wildlife legislation.