I'm on the fence about this one.
I'm definitely for the whole eco tourism thing, and having read the proposal, it seems well thought out environmentally. Having said that, the best thing environmentally would be to do nothing at all right?
The four Philoria species we have in the scenic rim and surrounds (ignoring the Baw baw frog) have managed to miss out on chytrid so far, and we shouldn't add it to the list alongside their only other threat: climate change. While they are listed as endangered for being mountain-top endemics, they are still relatively abundant in their locales (similar to spiny crayfish species). Chytrid finding it's way into these waterways from negligent walkers could destroy their populations.
I think while there still are walkers who explore these parts without considering hygiene, they are few and far between to matter. Managing a group of walker potentially everyday and through frog nesting periods is a whole other level. Maybe this can be explained and mitigated through the private companies' guides, but having it also open to the general public is scary. It isn't too often that a new trail is opened up to the public, especially here in SEQ where trails are more likely to close through disrepair.... Think of those crowds.
On the 'already an established track' thing, I do agree. These places are special in that they are pristine environments, because
they take a lot of effort to get there. We get a sense of pride and accomplishment for finding our way through the endless mess of lantana and Lawyer vine for that little view from a new perspective. We don't have big stretches of navigable and interesting wilderness near Brissy, like Sydney has Wollemi, so losing these little bits with a new beaut class 5 track through it is sad to see.
I think the main thing that irks me though, is that a private enterprise is exploiting our National Park with their 'Eco lodges'. Whose to say that at some point they block the trail head from Thornton for only private use, or shoo off anyone who comes close to the Mt Mistake farm house if you're not a patron of theirs. What happens when the owners want to move on to something else, and we get something similar to what happened at Lake Broadwater near Dalby. If it was just QLD parks involved, I'd be a little more on board.
I can see this eventuating into a stretch of official tracks running the length of the main range for sure. Maybe one day we'll have a proper long distance trail extending the length of the great divide
If I had known about this a little earlier I would've sent off some letters or at least ask some questions. Will have to keep an eye out for further developments.
Last edited by Moocattle
on Thu 07 Feb, 2019 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.