Friday, 14 June 2013

Local Parks: Mugii Murrum-ban State Conservation Area

The Capertee district is rich in natural wonders and this has been recognised with the establishment of several local reserves, most notably the Capertee and Gardens of Stone National Parks. The most recent addition to the protected Crown Lands portfolio in the area is the Mugii Murrum-ban State Conservation Area which was established by the former Labor State Government in March 2011.

Apart from some perimeter signs there is little
evidence of any changes in this Conservation Area
 since it was established in 2011

This new Conservation Area consists of 3,650 hectares of land which roughly intersects the Capertee NP (to the north) and the Gardens of Stone NP (to the south). Much of the area of the new Mugii Murrum-ban State Conservation Area includes the picturesque peaks of Mount Genowlan and Mount Airly. While not having the full legal protection of a National Park or World Heritage Area this new reserve is an extension of the Gardens of Stone National Park which was originally established in 1994. The Conservation Area is named after the Wiradjuri Elder, Charley Riley. Mugii is Riley's Wiradjuri name and means a Mopoke Owl, while Murum-ban means eldest son in the Wiradjuri language.

According to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service the new reserve includes more than 340 different plant species as well as distinctive sandstone and shale rock formations. Native vegetation includes several rare and endangered communities including plants associated with dwarf she-oak heathland, as well as 20 metre high Brown Barrel eucalyptus downstream of the "Grotto". Hopefully future National Parks and Wildlife funding will lead to more knowledge of the Conservation Area being known to the public.

Tangible evidence of the former mining village of Airly
 still survives in the newly established Conservation Area

Much of the drive to establish the reserve was the threat from coal mining in the area. Prior to the establishment of the Conservation Area proposed coal mining would have led to major subsidence as well as possible changes to the water table. After the Conservation Area was announced local miner Centennial Coal publicly welcomed the establishment of this State Conservation Area, but in late 2012 their Airly mine was scaled down due to financial reasons.

As well as the notable local geology and the diverse natural vegetation growing in the reserve, the Mugii Murrum-ban Conservation Area also includes archaeological remains of the former shale mining community of Airly, which was active from 1883-1913.While the nearby mining community of Glen Davis is relatively well documented the century old former shale mining community at Airly clearly shows the speed that human habitation turns to dust. Visible traces of this community includes mining ventilation shafts and the remains of several brick and stone dwellings.

Link to National Parks & Wildlife website:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...