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New Conservation Park in the Eyre Mountains

15 June 2005

New Conservation Park in the Eyre Mountains

Conservation Minister Chris Carter has opened a spectacular conservation park in the Eyre Mountains in Southland for the more adventurous tramper, hunter or trout fisher.

The park will span 65,160 hectares and protects important habitats for a wide range of threatened native species, including the only known population of rock wren outside the Southern Alps.

"The Department of Conservation seeks to maintain a full range of recreation areas from easy, heavily maintained walks to rugged wilderness. The Eyre Mountains Taka Ra Haka Conservation Park is specifically designed to be a place where people seeking a more remote, adventurous outdoor experience can go," Mr Carter said.

"The park is located around the highest peaks in Southland outside of the Fiordland National Park. Although it is less than an hour's drive from Invercargill and Queenstown, the park offers an extensive network of basic huts, tracks and shelters in rugged terrain suited to those who are self-reliant and skilled in the outdoors. Formed carriageways also provide some good 4-wheel-driving, horse riding, and mountain biking."

Mr Carter said the park had been formed from four existing conservation areas that until now had been managed independently of each other.

"By combining these areas into one park, we provide a clear, consistent focus for the management of conservation and recreation in the area.

"This initiative is part of the Labour-Progressive government's programme of gradually developing a network of parks and reserves for the public throughout the South Island High Country," Mr Carter said.

"So far this programme has resulted in the creation of the Ahuriri Conservation Park in North Otago, the Te Papanui Conservation Park near Dunedin, and the Korowai-Torlesse Tussocklands Park in Canterbury," Mr Carter said.

ENDS

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