Fire Access and Fire Trail (FAFT) Program

Client: NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
Industry sector: Natural resource management, State government
Location: Illawarra, Murray-Riverina, Southern Ranges NSW


Services:
Review of Environmental Factors (REF), Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment (ACHA) and Stakeholder Engagement, Biodiversity Assessment, Ecological Field Survey, Targeted Threatened Species Survey (Flora, Amphibian, Microbat), Aquatic/Riparian Assessment and GIS (Site Maps, Vegetation Mapping)

The project

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) administers around 40,000 kilometres of roads and trails, covering 90 percent of the fire-prone land mapped in NSW. Around 27,000 kilometres of these are designated as strategic or tactical fire trails, comprising approximately 50 per cent of the State’s fire trail network. 

The objectives of the Fire Access and Fire Trail Program (FAFT) include the enhancement of the park’s fire trail network and associated infrastructure to meet new Rural Fire Service standards, and progression of the decommissioning of non-strategic and dormant fire trails.

“Each REF requires a combination of specialist assessments, including ecology, Aboriginal cultural heritage, and historic heritage.”

Kai Whitaker, Environmental Approvals Consultant
Our role in the FAFT Program

Initially, Niche was engaged by NPWS to undertake three FAFT Program REFs across different regions:

  • Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area, Dharawal National Park, and the Dharawal Nature Reserve for the NPWS South Coast Branch
  • Murramarang National Park for the NPWS South Coast Branch
  • Ulandra Nature Reserve for the NPWS Southern Ranges Branch

Recently, Niche has been engaged to deliver three more FAFT Program REFs for the NPWS Southern Ranges Branch:

  • Paupong Nature Reserve and Numbla Vale Area Kosciuszko National Park
  • Pilot Wilderness Area Kosciuszko National Park
  • Burrinjuck Nature Reserve

Assessments tailored to each site

The FAFT program requires fire trails to be upgraded to specific standards. Each REF needs to provide NPWS with a site-specific impact assessment to match the types and standards of trail upgrades, and the unique environment within each area.

Each REF requires a combination of specialist assessments, including Ecology, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, and Historic Heritage.

The advantages we delivered to this project
  • Locally based and experienced multidisciplinary team including environmental and cultural heritage consultants, and in-house GIS team.
  • Excellent collaborative working relationships with all project stakeholders.

Excellence in your environment