Much of the private land that surrounds the Mole Creek Karst National Park contains many of the same environmental values that led to the park's creation in December 1996. The park is a haven of limestone caves, beautiful scenery and plentiful wildlife. The protection of the forest and cave systems in the park has been enhanced by the complementary conservation of areas of private land in the nearby region.
The karst terrain is overlain by soils supporting a range of forest types as well as agricultural grasslands and cropland. The close relationship between above-ground and below-ground environments is an important feature of karst areas. Farming and land management activities such as vegetation clearing can have a serious impact on the underground cave environments including degradation of cave formations and compromised groundwater quality.
The Mole Creek Karst Forest Programme developed under the 2005 Supplementary Regional Forest Agreement (Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement), was a voluntary program designed to financially assist Mole Creek landowners to protect the forest over karst on their property. The aim of the program was to protect up to 2400 hectares of private forested land in the Mole Creek area. The MCKFP concluded in June 2008.
Outcomes of the Mole Creek Karst Forest Programme
In total, an amount of $2.96 million was approved to purchase seven properties and fund two conservation covenants in the Mole Creek Karst Forest area. A total of 537 hectares of high value forest and karst landscape was protected.
- The seven land purchases were funded at a cost of $2,790,973 for 438 hectares
- The two conservation covenants were funded at a cost of $174,316 for 99 hectares
Five of the properties purchased through the Mole Creek Karst Forest Programme will be incorporated in the Mole Creek Karst National Park reserve system.
For further information regarding the Mole Creek Karst Forest Programme please contact the Tasmanian Land Conservancy on (03) 6225 1399 or www.tasland.org.au.