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Oparara investment to protect environment and visitors

Oparara investment to protect environment and visitors

The Department of Conservation says the newly announced $5.6 million Provincial Growth Fund investment at the Oparara Valley in Kahurangi National Park will ensure the natural heritage arches and cave ecosystems of the area are protected for future generations.

The valley has a growing reputation for its impressive limestone arches in a forested river valley setting. It is also rich in birdlife and has an important cultural history for Ngāti Waewae.

With 15,000 people visiting Oparara annually it is important detailed planning and infrastructure retains and protects the area’s significant environmental and cultural values.

Mark Davies, DOC Western South Island Operations Director says Tourism West Coast’s initial concept work has secured funding for the road to made safer, and work to tracks and viewing areas will better manage the environmental impact of visitors to the Oparara.

“Using DOC’s environmental and visitor infrastructure expertise we will work with all interested parties to ensure any work in the Oparara Basin is undertaken in a sensitive and appropriate manner – with protection of the environment foremost.

“We take our responsibility for this place very seriously. DOC will monitor the ongoing impact of visitors at Oparara including investigating transport options, such as a park and ride, to manage visitor impact.

“The new visitor infrastructure will be understated and fit the natural values that surround it,” promised Mr Davies.

–Ends–


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