Update from National Parks on Blue Mountains canyon closures

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T2
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Full name: Tim Vollmer
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Update from National Parks on Blue Mountains canyon closures

Post by T2 » 21 Feb 2020, 18:05

Will Batson (Area Manager, Upper Mountains, Blue Mountains Branch National Parks and Wildlife Service) has provided the following update about current canyon closures following fires and flooding. It also includes details of priority canyons they are seeking to reopen as early as next month.
National Parks within the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area have been significantly impacted by fire and/or floods. Many of the region’s canyons have been impacted. Whilst priority areas have been assessed, many remote areas and canyons have not and therefore are closed. The planned process for reopening the most popular canyons is for NPWS to assess the access and exit routes and remove the most hazardous trees before getting detailed condition reports on the actual canyons themselves. The results of these assessments will be used to assess the feasibility of reopening those areas.

NPWS is prioritising works around the most popular canyons to allow commercial and recreational users access to those areas as soon as possible (e.g. Grand Canyon, Empress are open). It is important that all visitors check the NPWS alerts prior to planning or departing on any activity, as these can change frequently.

It is vital that closures are respected to avoid the significant safety risks associated with moving in burnt and flood damaged areas, and to limit the ecological impacts on these vulnerable environments. Once reopened visitors must keep to existing tracks to allow the bush to regenerate, and be aware that abseil anchor points may have been damaged. In addition, visitors must be vigilant of the risks posed by trees and rocks that have been impacted and become unstable. Visitors are ultimately responsible for their own and their group’s safety. Loose logs, quicksand and high water levels may also be experienced. Canyons will open as soon as possible with the priority to open Wollangambe, Serendipity, Juggler, and Claustral in March.



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