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The organisation today launched its Remarkable Outdoors campaign headlined by a proposed new national park - ‘The Remarkables National Park’ in the Otago Southland high-country near Queenstown.
FMC President Peter Wilson said the proposed park was a long-held dream of conservationists and recreationalists, notably Sir Alan Mark, who was one of the first to see the beauty and the botanical richness in our high-country tussock landscapes.
The proposed park would span a vast area of Otago Southland including the watersheds of the Wye, Nevis, Waikaia and Pomahaka rivers, the iconic Remarkables Mountain Range, along with the Hector / Tapuae o Uenuku, Garvie, Old Man / Kopuwai and Old Woman ranges.
The Remarkables National Park would also be symbolic according to Mr Wilson.
“We are forging a new consensus for conservation and outdoor opportunities in New Zealand currently. We see The Remarkables National Park as another step forward which would honour the past while providing for the future”.
The broader Remarkable Outdoors campaign contains a series of challenges for the public to put to politicians, “We want conservation and outdoor issues to be dinner table conversations around the country heading into the general election,” Mr Wilson stated.
“We are asking political parties for their responses directly, but we would also like our 20,000 members and the wider outdoor community to think about these challenges and put them to politicians that are seeking their vote.”
Mr Wilson said the area already contained large tracts of conservation land, but suffered from a lack of national recognition.
He said it was the third time conservationists had tried to get the area classified as a national park.
"Tramping as a core sport is booming for Kiwis, so is hunting, so is fishing," he said.
"So what we are seeing is a huge re-emergence of New Zealanders' interest in the outdoors. So we think now is the time to put that centre stage and ask politicians to establish a new national park."