Zoning is a key concept in park management. It defines areas within Herring Island where certain management objectives are emphasised, providing a geographical framework for implementing these objectives. A zoning system can also establish the types and intensity of usage appropriate to different areas within a reserve, and thus serve as a basis for evaluating the suitability of management proposals in certain parts of a reserve. In this manner, potential use conflict can be minimised.
Park management zones are based on a combination of physical, biological, social and management considerations. These include such factors as natural and conservation values, cultural values, land capability, existing and potential recreational opportunities, and issues such as fire protection.
The zoning system proposed for Herring Island indicates in a general manner appropriate types of use and development in different parts of Herring Island. The primary objectives of this zoning system are to protect areas of existing or potential natural significance, and to avoid possible use conflict.
Two management zones have been proposed for Herring Island, a Conservation Zone and a Nature Recreation Zone (Figure 3).
ZONE 1 CONSERVATION
Areas within this zone are of the highest conservation significance on Herring Island, or have considerable potential for wildlife habitat. These include a small grassland area at the northeast corner; a flat area in the north-central section of Herring Island, in which vulnerable orchid species have been found; and the low-lying area to the north-west. The latter area, although lacking in indigenous species and apparently with little conservation value, is shielded from noise due to its position, and appears to have potential in terms of revegetation and habitat restoration.
These areas will be fenced to exclude access. Other structures will not be permitted in this zone. The low-lying areas in the north-west will obviously require extensive revegetation. This will receive a high priority in vegetation management works (Part E, Section 1.1). Areas containing remnant vegetation are small and badly degraded. Weed control measures and revegetation to reinforce existing indigenous vegetation are required in these areas.
ZONE 2 NATURE RECREATION
The primary management objective of these areas is to provide for passive recreation within a substantially natural environment. Tracks and appropriate structures (e.g. interpretation shelters, bird hides) are suitable in this zone. Land capability differs considerably within the Nature Recreation Zone, which contains the most degraded sites on Herring Island. These areas will require special treatment, as discussed in Part E, Sections 1.1 and 1.5. This zone offers the potential to rehabilitate degraded areas, and provide interpretation and recreation activities compatible with the natural values of Herring Island. Major features will be an access track around Herring Island, a bird hide, a lookout, interpretation shelters, picnic facilities and two composting toilets.