& Caring For The Environment
Visitors to national parks are strongly encouraged to 'leave no trace' or at least minimise the impact of their visit in the environment. Following are some of the commonsense principles of hiking or walking through NPs, as adapted from the Sierra Club:
- Tread softly - use existing tracks in NPs; don’t create new ones or cut corners, as this leads to erosion.
- Carry out all your rubbish, including food scraps - don’t burn or bury it.
- Take a hand trowel and bury human waste and toilet paper at least 15cm deep. Carry out items that won’t easily decompose, such as used tampons, sanitary pads and condoms.
- Be very careful with fire, as bushfires cause enormous damage. Don’t light fires in hot, windy conditions, or when there is a declared fire ban. Keep the fire small and douse it with water to ensure it is out. Covering a fire with dirt or sand will allow coals to smolder for days;
- The sound of electronics is out of place in the natural environment and NPs. Be courteous to others, and don’t bring a radio or CD player. If you leave a mobile phone on, switch it to ‘silent’ mode first.
- Many places in Australia’s NPs have spiritual or cultural significance for Aborigines, and should be treated with respect.
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