Letter: Don’t blame the horse-riders

In response to comments by State Environmental spokeswoman Cate Faehrmann (Moruya Examiner, November 9, 2012), horse riders respect the land and the environment in which we ride.

In our own way we are very environmentally conscious.

We report any blackberry and fireweed outbreaks we come across to National Parks, and report any pig diggings or sightings as well.

Feral animals cause more native damage than horse-riders will ever do. 

Foxes, feral cats, mixed dingo-dogs breeds and feral pigs cause more damage and destruction and bring disease to both native flora and fauna in National Parks, so what are the Greens doing about the pests?

I ride in both the Snowy River and high country areas and in the Far South Coast.

Ms Faehrmann’s one-sided view destroys the good rapport horse-riders are trying to establish with National Parks and local and state governments.

She stated that horse-riders cause soil erosion. Soil erosion is caused by wind and rain.

Horse-riders ride in allocated bridle-paths allocated by National Parks. When one area has been ridden in for a period, then that path is closed and we ride in another part of the park to prevent unnatural soil erosion and thus eliminating and preventing the effects of soil erosion.

She also said that horses spread weeds through their faeces.

Riders in National Parks across Australia use a special biscuit or pellet-like feed that is non-weed spreading.

In fact, we help sustain native flora and fauna. If we find an injured native animal, we report it to National Parks.

We use GPS/maps and can use satellite phones if necessary, so that National Parks can locate the injured animal. This can also be used for feral animal control.

To ride on bridle-paths that my ancestors once crossed is a privilege.

It is a balance of protecting valued National Parks and enjoying recreational riding.

Ms Faehrmann stated that Barry O’Farrell and Robyn Parker had no respect for the land.

At least they are willing to open their eyes, hearts and minds to all the good opportunities this can do for the environment.

Janine McWilliams, Cooma

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