Areas of the Murray Valley National Park will be open to hunters, under conditions.
Some local National Parks will be opened to hunters again by March.
NSW Shooters and Fishers Party Riverina branch chair Jim Muirhead says areas of the Murray Valley National Park, including the Millewa, Moira and Gulpa forests, will be available to hunters and known as the Murray Valley Sunset Nature Reserve.
The Werai Forest was not included in the reserve.
Mr Muirhead said he was ‘‘rapt’’ with the move, which he says will help control feral animal numbers and save taxpayer dollars.
The local forests are among 79 parks, reserves and conservation areas that are allowing hunting again.
Deniliquin’s parks have been closed to hunters since they were converted from state forests to National Parks in July 2010.
Mr Muirhead said there would be different restrictions on the re-opened parks, depending on their classification.
In parks with higher tourist numbers, hunting can only be done in the company of a park ranger, and the park would be specially closed for the hunt.
Mr Muirhead said in parks with less tourist numbers, similar to the Millewa forest, hunting would be allowed for a certain time period each year.
In remote parks with virtually no tourists, hunting will be open year round.
Local parks will have a combination of hunting seasons, from after Easter to before Christmas, and year-round hunting in different areas.
Mr Muirhead said shooters would be trained to identify what they shoot and to also use a backstop that will stop the bullet.
‘‘Safety is the most important part of it all,’’ he said.
‘‘We hunted these (forests) before they were national parks.
‘‘Just because the name’s changed doesn’t make any difference.’’
Mr Muirhead said hunts must be booked through the Game Council, as only a certain amount of hunters are allowed in at a time.
The council will keep track of who is in the forest and their car registration, he added.
Mr Muirhead said volunteer pest shooting has been working in state forests for years.
‘‘The amount of feral animals that have been killed in the state forest at no cost to the taxpayer is fairly significant,’’ he said.
He said professional shooters hired by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) would cost between $15,000 and $20,000 a day for a helicopter and shooter.
‘‘Why should you or I [as taxpayers] be paying $15,000 or $20,000 when I can go and I actually pay you, the taxpayer, an annual fee to do it?’’ he said.
He also said the wounding rate was high with professional shooters, while volunteer shooters on the ground would kill an animal more quickly and humanely.
Volunteer shooters will have to hold a restricted licence to be able to hunt.
‘‘They do a course and then they get this special licence,’’ Mr Muirhead said.
The changes are also expected to have an economic benefit.
Mr Muirhead said people who used to come for hunting spent money in towns near the forest — and they are expected to do so again.
The hunting decision comes just months before the results of a Public Lands Management Inquiry are released.
Mr Muirhead said it should set out management of National Parks, when released in April.
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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