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Added my own "sig" below...

 J. L. Wiegert                                    ICQ UIN: 1918889
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 13:20:35 -0600
From: robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com>
To: nfc at actwin_com

From: James White <james_white at ulsaker_com>
Date: 16 Mar 99 10:58:59 -0500
Message-ID: <1290540811-5505269 at ulsaker_com>

This e-mail was sent to me by Dr. Paul Loiselle.   Paul is very concerned
about the affects this would have on the aquatic and non-aquatic habitats
the park.  Please take the time to read and then decide if you would like
sign the petition and send it on to others. 

Subject: FW: De-proclamation of Vaalbos Nat Park

Kimberley Area, South Africa:

Please sign (by entering your name)at the bottom to signify your
support, and include your town, country and e-mail address. If you
receive this list when it has 100 names on it, please e-mail a copy
of it to dtours at kimnet_co.za

Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not
kill this important petition. (IT IS BEST TO COPY RATHER THAN

Thank you and kind regards.

Dirk Potgieter
(Kimberley, South Africa.)

VAALBOS NATIONAL PARK (VNP) was proclaimed by the South African
Parliament in 1986 - the primary function of this 23 000 ha National
Park was to protect a rare combination of 3 x ecotypes and to set up
a safe and secure breeding facility for the highly endangered
(desert) black rhino and several other rare species.  Larger animal
species found in the park on the schedule 1 list of endangered wild
animals include the (desert) black rhino, white rhino, African scaly
ant-eater and several schedule 2 endangered wild animals!

It is worth noting that Vaalbos National Park it is bordered on the
east & west boundaries by approx. 50 km of Vaal River frontage -
this being the only section of the Vaal River protected by National
Park status and containing rare barb, rock catfish and the large-
mouth yellowfish, not to mention birds, reptiles and insects.

The infrastructure of this uniquely diverse Park (situated 60 km
north from Kimberley) was established primarily with a local work
force ("by the community for the benefit of the community")
recruited from among the impoverished local community along the
eastern boundary (Barkly West, Longlands, Delportshoop and Gong-
Gong).  It is also worth noting that more than R4 million of local
taxpayer money was invested in setting up roads and tourist
facilities within this Vaalbos National Park.

The promise was made from the very beginning and again with the
grand opening in November 1996 that Vaalbos National Park would be a
major economic boost and tourism asset to this neglected and
progressively impoverished / unemployed area.

As a young National Park, VNP was making it's mark and visitor
figures steadily increased with the charming 3 chalets very often
fully book out. But then on 24 July 1998 it was announced by Mr,
Mavuso Masimang; Chief Executive of the South African National Parks
(SANP) that the SANP in conjunction with the Northern Cape
Provincial Government (NCPG) had decided upon deproclamation of the
Park (the first Park ever in South Africa to be deproclamated) and
that it should thus lose it's National Park conservation status and
legal protection. This immediately influenced visitor figures
negatively and amazed foreign tourists!

According to a press release dated 25/07/98, Mr. Thabo Makweya - the
NCPG MEC for Agriculture, Enviromental Affairs and Land Reform, he
stated that the interests of beginner miners (small diamond miners)
would receive preference in the area's new status of utilisation!
Deproclamate a National Park for small scale mining of unconfirmed
diamond deposits?

According to the SANP the initial aims for establishing a larger
Vaalbos National Park were not realised, partly due to the manner in
which it was done, which included threats of expropriation and non-
consultation; this was to be expected to lead to failure.  Other
excuses such as not being having aesthetic value, nor meeting the
IUCN merit system requirements, as well as not being able to carry
and sustain the major predators, are misleading - many Parks, even
in South Africa, do not meet these conditions and still exist.

As for SANP and NCPG themselves, there has been very limited
communication and no consultation with the neglected and
progressively impoverished / unemployed surrounding area /
communities, as well as a definite lack of transparency and
consideration in reaching this decision.

Destroying the well-established Vaalbos National Park, taking into
considering it's much needed tourism potential for these local
communities and then attempting to establish a new National Park
elsewhere in the province, is but a futile dream.   Not only would a
predominantly neglected and progressively impoverished/underemployed
community be deprived of development potential, but an attempt would
have to be launched to establish a new National Park elsewhere in the
province at great (duplicated) financial cost.

The loss of Vaalbos National Park is our real issue here and this
being the first National Park to be deproclamated in South Africa,
this conservation failure would lay the foundation for further
onslaught on other National Parks, in a modern world where
conservation is fighting a losing battle.

To quote a foreign tourist once visiting Vaalbos National Park:
"Some of the finest classic African scenery I have yet experienced!"

We hope to have a web page up within the near future, but presently
request your kind supporting vote in our quest to retain Vaalbos
National Park for conservation and as a viable development to the
benefit of the neglected and progressively impoverished/unemployed
surrounding areas/communities.

We thank you for your time.

1.) Dirk Potgieter - Kimberley, South Africa - e-
mail:dtours at kimnet_co.za
2.) Marzanne Potgieter - Kimberley, South Africa - e-
mail:dtours at kimnet_co.za
3.) Mark Wilson - Kimberley, South Africa - e-mail:markw at kimnet_co.za
4.) Linda Engelbrecht - Kimberley, SA - e-mail: linri at kimnet_co.za
5.) Gavin Evans - Kimberley, SA - e-mail:  docentre at intekom_co.za
6.) Riaan Maritz - Kimberley, SA - e-mail: riaanm at Intekom_co.za
7) Hardy Maritz - London, UK - e-mail: Hardy.H.Maritz at OPC_shell.com
8) Andrew Fuller - Hilton , SA - e-mail: fuller at futurenet_co.za
9) Adam Riley - Pietermaritzburg, SA - email:adam.riley at intekom_co.za
10) W. R. Branch - Port Elizabeth - email pemwrb at zoo_upe.ac.za
11) M.R.R. Logie - East London - email besc at iafrica_com &
malcolme_logie at hotmail_com
12) Heuer Bosman - Pretoria - email heuerb at iscorltd_co.za
13) Louis D Bosman  -  Midrand,SA - louisb at dbsa_org
14) Julie Clarke - midrand SA juliec at dbsa_org
15) Frank Merryweather Cintsa East fmenviro at iafrica_com
16)Ann Merryweather Cintsa East fmenviro at iafrica_com
17) Jack Hennessy, Darling RSA email:afridevd at iafrica_com
18) Gillian Hennessy, Darling RSA email: afridevd at iafrica_com
19) Robert Palmer, White River, RSA, email: afridevr at iafrica_com
20) Helen James - Grahamstown, RSA. email: h.james at ru_ac.za
21) Mary Bailey, Crediton, England.  email 106326.3671 at compuserve_com
22) Paul V. Loiselle, Rahway, USA. email: loiselle at idt_net
23) Michael J. McKinney, Massachusetts, USA. email: mmckinney at kbtoys_com
24) James J. White, Connecticut, USA. email : james_white at ulsaker_com
25) Joshua L. Wiegert.  New York, USA.  email:joshuaw at paulsmiths_edu

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