Park management

"Mirragarl created the earth from the dust of the stars, the ancestors and all life forms. Their adventures have created the landforms, the winds, the climate and the laws for the people." - George Brown

Booderee National Park and Booderee Botanic Gardens have been jointly managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and Parks Australia since December 1995. the park and botanic gardens are managed in accordance with the relevant legislation, a management plan and the decisions of the Board of Management.

Second management plan update

The second management plan for Booderee National Park has been drafted by the park Board and was released for public comment over the period 4 May 2011 to 2 August 2011. The Director of National Parks and the park Board will consider all submissions provided during this period as they work towards finalising the plan.

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Key objectives

The key objectives for the management of Booderee National Park are:

  • to conserve the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the park
  • to provide for appreciation and quiet enjoyment of the park
  • to benefit members of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.

Joint management

Booderee National Park and Booderee Botanic Gardens are jointly managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. A memorandum of lease between the Director of National Parks and Wildlife and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council was signed in December 1995. the park and Botanic Gardens are managed in accordance with relevant legislation, a management plan and the decisions of the Board of Management which was established in 1996.

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Tootawah created the Yilarm, Murrawaddi, Dulamar and Gurragama winds. In our western culture these represent the points of the compass (north, east, south and west). For the traditional owners, they are the winds of changing moods. Now at Booderee we are all riding the wind of change as we enter the time of joint management. - Julie Freeman

The Booderee Board of Management includes a majority of Aboriginal traditional owners. The board oversees the management of the park and Botanic Gardens and for preparation of plans of management.

The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community's interest in Booderee is legally reflected in the lease agreement, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Act 1986. The lease agreement requires that the park is managed with the interests of the traditional owners in mind. The lease sets out the terms and conditions governing joint management for a period of 99 years with provision to review the lease every five years.

The Act allows traditional use of the area for hunting, food gathering and ceremonial purposes in areas of the park determined by the Director and the Aboriginal traditional owners. The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community is working with the Department of the Environment to promote traditional skills and knowledge among park staff and visitors.

Booderee National Park is an example of joint management for parks and botanic gardens across Australia.

Management zones

The Booderee National Park Plan of Management introduced a zoning scheme in April 2002 to the park. It is designed to provide for the appropriate use of the park, whilst protecting the park's natural and cultural features. The park has been divided into four main zones and several sub-zones.

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Special purpose zone | Bowen Island

Special purpose zone | Bowen Island

Special purpose zone | Bowen Island

The Bowen Island Special Purpose Zone includes the whole island and the waters on the western side of the island out to 30 metres from the mean high tide mark. The zone aims to protect nesting seabirds and their habitat from disturbance.

Regulation:

  • Public access is prohibited on Bowen Island and within the waters 30 metres to the west of the island.

Sanctuary zone | Bowen Island Marine Area

This zone comprises the waters to the west of Bowen Island, extending from the Special Purpose Zone boundary 30 metres from the island out to 100 metres seaward from the mean high tide mark.

To limit your impact:

  • Bowen Island Marine Area Sanctuary is a no-take area zone, fishing and the collecting of marine organisms is prohibited — except with a permit which will be issued only for scientific research
  • anchoring is prohibited in this zone
  • private boats may enter this zone but boat entry to the zone by commercial operators, other than by permit, is not allowed
  • swimming, snorkelling and SCUBA diving are permitted in this zone.
Habitat protection zone | marine

Habitat protection zone | marine

Habitat protection zone - marine

Habitat protection zones safeguard sensitive rare and endangered habitats. This zone protects marine life in marine and littoral areas of the park, including seagrass beds. It includes all the marine areas of the park apart from the Bowen Island special purpose zone and sanctuary zone, and the special purpose zone at HMAS Creswell.

To limit your impact:

  • fishing is allowed (refer to the fishing regulations)
  • the taking of shellfish and the disturbance of marine vegetation is prohibited
  • spearguns or handspears are not permitted
  • jetskis are not permitted
  • waterskiing or the towing of people behind boats is prohibited
  • anchoring is prohibited in an area of the zone shown in map 2 and 3.

Anchoring is not allowed in depths less than 10 metres at mean low tide (which closely follows the edge of the seagrass meadows and some important algal communities) and also includes the zone between 100 metres and 200 metres west of Bowen Island.

Habitat protection zone - freshwater environments

This zone protects freshwater aquatic life, particularly the habitat of rare and endangered species. It includes Murrays Wetland, Steamers Waterholes, Blacks Waterhole and Ryans Swamp.

To limit your impact:

General protection zone

This zone includes extensive terrestrial areas of the park, where the first priority is management for nature conservation and quiet use and enjoyment. This zone provides for moderate levels of low impact recreational use and infrastructure development.

To limit your impact:

  • public activities allowed in this zone include walking and cycling (on existing tracks only) and picnicking (no facilities available)
  • camping is prohibited, and commercial activities may only be undertaken in accordance with a permit issued by the Director of National Parks