Ten historic huts which were burnt down or damaged in the Kosciuszko National Park during the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires will be rebuilt this summer, with a call-out going to those with heritage knowledge and construction skills to assist the process.
The huts which were deemed to have outstanding national heritage value and significance will be reconstructed in association with the Kosciuszko Huts Association, which has been protecting and maintaining the huts on a volunteer basis since the early 1970s.
The association has confirmed 17 huts and buildings were lost in the 2020 bushfires in the Kosciuszko including the Kiandra precinct, and in the Namadgi National Park. Many of these huts have their own volunteer caretakers who were heartbroken to see the devastation caused by the fires.
National Parks and Wildlife Service area manager Steve Cathcart said that these important structures had been assessed by rangers in a process which began toward the end of last summer
'There are more than 70 huts in Kosciuszko National Park, with others across the Australian alps, that are considered to have outstanding national heritage value and significance, and as a group the huts have State Heritage significance for their historic, aesthetic and social values,' Mr Cathcart said.
"'The huts are an integral part of the cultural landscape of Kosciuszko National Park demonstrating different construction materials and techniques, past land uses, travel, communication practices, past times and continue to be visited today by people enjoying the park including walkers, riders and skier.
"Since February 2020, officers have been working to assess and record damage, preserve original features where possible and consult with groups such as the Kosciuszko Huts Association and descendants of the huts builders."
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He said the NPWS will enlist the aid of staff, contractors and volunteers trained in traditional construction techniques to enable continuation of heritage building skills, such as splitting slabs with a maul and froe, and log cabin construction and help keep these skills alive.
The service is also seeking additional staff to be part of the program and positions will be advertised at iworkfor.nsw.gov.au.
Descendants and others with photographs and other historic records of these huts or those interested in volunteering or working on rebuilding these huts are encouraged to contact NPWS by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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