- Last updated:
- 08 Sep 2018
Council manages a large and diverse environmental reserve network which plays an important role in protecting the region's native wildlife and natural beauty. The council reserve network includes three environmental visitor and education centres and 131 kms of public trails. Most reserves are accessible for the community to enjoy.
There are over 547 environmental reserves ranging in size from less than 1 hectare up to 333 hectare and located throughout all six catchments - Pumicestone, Stanley, Mooloolah, Maroochy, Noosa, and Mary. This represents approximately 11% of the Sunshine Coast protected area estate.
The Environmental Reserves Network Management Plan was developed to ensure all reserves are considered under an integrated and consistent set of management principles while continuing to develop individual site management plans where needed.
The Plan describes eight best practice principles that will guide operational management activities. These were developed from international standards in reserve management and recognise the importance of developing a reserve network that is not only protecting the plants and animals within the reserves, but is also resilient to change, cost effective and contributes to community wellbeing and livelihood.
A cornerstone of the Plan is the zoning of reserves into five categories that guides how public access is managed according to the attributes of a site. This will ensure there is an equitable distribution of access to reserves while also protecting sensitive areas and maintaining the Sunshine Coast's natural advantage.
To ensure the plan is implemented and outcomes can be monitored and reported, a detailed Action Plan has been included in the Plan with the following five themes:
- Protecting ecosystem service, resilience, and livelihood benefits
- Protecting biodiversity
- Sustainable public access
- Building knowledge
- Biodiversity partnership and community involvement
Council will implement the action plan as part of its operational plans over the next ten years, working towards councils corporate vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region - healthy, smart, creative.
Current Environmental Management Plans
Environmental Reserve Management Plans are prepared for selected high value reserves, including all of those environmental reserves which have been purchased under council's Environmental Levy Acquisition Program. These plans bring together all of the information known about the reserve including what plants and animals can be found there and the history of the site. From this information the management plan shows how each reserve will be managed in the future.