The Outdoor Recreation Consortium, which has been lovingly restoring and maintaining huts and tracks in the remote backcountry, is being given certainty of funding for the next two years.
The Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry has announced that the Consortium, led by Federated Mountain Clubs, New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association and Trail Fund New Zealand, will be granted $350,000 a year for the next two years from the DOC Community Fund.
“This group has done an excellent job of coordinating volunteers to paint and renovate huts that are off the beaten track, but are still hugely valued by hunters and trampers across the country,” Ms Barry says.
“A large portion of the funding goes towards flying materials into remote areas, while volunteers carry out the work on the ground. The work has encouraged volunteers to take ownership of the places they care about and it’s helped increase awareness of conservation issues.”
“Knowing they won’t need to apply for funding for the next two years should give the Outdoor Recreation Consortium space to look at a new self-sustaining funding model. DOC will work with them with this transition.”
The Outdoor Recreation Consortium has received approximately $1.2 million over the past three years to help maintain and enhance remote back country facilities that they value and enjoy.
“As a result the Consortium has maintained or enhanced 60 huts and 500 kilometres of track with 869 volunteers working in total for nearly 21,000 hours,” Ms Barry says.
DOC has more than 950 huts and 14,000 kilometres of track to maintain around the country and the partnership with the Outdoor Recreation Consortium contributes to the programme of developing these facilities so more people take advantage of the outdoors.
Further updates and examples of projects can be found at http://hutsandtracks.org.nz/project-blog