By JAMIE KRONBORG
THE Nug Nug reserve committee is proposing to exclude camping in the southern section of what has long been a campground near Buffalo River south of Myrtleford.
Committee representatives last week met with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, North East Catchment Management Authority and Alpine Shire Council managers and officers following neighbours’ concerns about crowding, pollution-risk and tree and shrub clearing in the reserve.
The campground has showers and toilets north of the Nug Nug Wa Creek, but two areas – separated by Menz Road – which campers use south of the creek do not have sanitation facilities.
Neighbours Andrea and Simon Cohen are licenced to take water from the creek to augment their domestic supply.
The department, as land manager, has said in a statement issued after the August 22 site meeting that it would support the committee to develop a management plan for the reserve.
The plan is to “provide guidance on future maintenance including traffic and roads, trees, signage and facility upgrades”, the department said.
“The committee is proposing to exclude camping in the southern section of the reserve and restrict access to allow for pedestrian and emergency vehicles only.”
The department said it would also support the committee to “better manage unauthorised camping within the reserve, and mitigate antisocial behaviour”.
“The Nug Nug camping reserve is a popular campsite and accommodates up to 300 people during peak periods of the year,” it said.
“It is valued by the local community and contributes an estimated $750,000 a year to the local economy.”
The department told the Times Observer that SP Ausnet, the company which manages infrastructure for the supply of electricity in the North East, had recently cleared vegetation in the reserve to reduce fire risk under power lines.
It said much of it was weedy material, including blackberry.