More than 60% of the ACT has been declared as public land. This includes the ACT’s extensive reserve network which consists of various wilderness areas, national parks, nature reserves, catchment areas and special purpose reserves. The vast majority of reserves within this network are primarily managed for the purpose of environmental conservation. Some of the environmentally significant reserves include the Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and the many units of the Canberra Nature Park, such as Black Mountain and the Cooleman Ridge.

This chapter discusses the various types of public land that can be found in the ACT, which include reserves, non-reserved public land, Ramsar wetlands and public unleased land. Management plans that govern how these different types of public land are used is explained in this chapter, as well as the process of public participation for the creation of these management plans.

The chapter also discusses the various offences enacted to protect the ACT’s public land, the permitted use of public land including the issuing of licences, leases and permits over public land, and a brief discussion about how the public can get involved in protecting public land in the ACT region.

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