Plan of Management - Protecting the future of Yass Gorge

Yass Valley Council, with involvement from the Friends of Yass Gorge, Yass Landcare and South East Local Land Services, have made decisive action to safe guard the future of the Yass Gorge, public land which has significant environmental value.

The Yass Gorge is an environmental corridor in the centre of Yass town, stretching from Flat Rock Crossing to the Yass dam wall. A home to a significant patch of Natural Temperate Grassland (a Critically Endangered Ecological Community) and other unique environmental and cultural features, the Yass Gorge is a very important place.

“Yass Gorge is a very special place and the Plan of Management will guide actions to protect the area into the future,” said Yass Valley Council’s Natural Resources & Sustainability Officer, Rebecca Widdows. “The Yass Gorge is important not only as a rare vegetation community and a key piece of habitat for our native animals and birds, but as an easily accessible place of natural beauty right in the centre of town. The Plan of Management is a commitment to make sure future generations can experience it too.”

Management actions are presented within the Plan, with responsibilities and timeframes allocated. A significant amount of the management actions will be carried out by the Friends of Yass Gorge, demonstrating a high level of community ownership of the Plan.

“The Yass Gorge is unique because it exists within the urban environment of Yass and yet, for many years, was hidden away by massive growths of blackberry and willow,” says Jill McGovern, founding member of the Friends of Yass Gorge. “In recent times, Yass Landcare, Yass Valley Council with Green Army support, the local Aboriginal community and other local organisations all worked together to remove the noxious weeds and create trails through the Gorge.”

“I commend the Yass Valley Council for its foresight in adopting this plan and look forward to supporting the Council in its endeavours”.

A grant received through the 25th anniversary Landcare grants enabled Yass Landcare to engage expert grassland ecologists from Kosciusko to Coast to formulate a management plan for the Yass Gorge Natural Temperate Grassland. This scientific document has been used as a basis for the Plan of Management that Council is seeking feedback on in order to protect this natural community asset.

The draft Yass Gorge Plan of Management is currently on exhibition with Council encouraging the community to engage with the document and make submissions. Submissions are invited up until 5.00pm Friday 18th August 2017 - www.yassvalley.nsw.gov.au/council/exhibition.