Jan 2, 2024 | Featured Articles

A unique five-year twinning agreement between the Wild Nephin National Park in Co. Mayo and the Yosemite National Park in California aims to foster international co-operation between both parks to support their shared goals in nature conservation and to promote tourism and cultural exchange.

Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan announced the heritage twinning agreement he unveiled a plaque at McCann’s Cottage at Wild Nephin National Park in Co. Mayo.

The cottage, which was originally home to local man Paddy McCann and his family until their death during the Great Famine, has been restored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff over the past year. As part of an innovative heritage project to restore former cottages for use as ‘bothies’, it will provide shelter for hikers, walkers and star gazers visiting Wild Nephin National Park.

“We celebrate our efforts to manage and protect our natural heritage in the beautiful surroundings of Wild Nephin National Park. We also recall a dark and sad time from our nation’s history. We mark the lived experience and history of the community in Mayo, many of whom were forced to leave their homes during the Great Famine.

“As we remember the events which will always connect our history, we also open a new chapter in our relationship – to protect nature and biodiversity in our National Parks, for the future benefit and enjoyment of local communities and visitors to National Parks in Ireland and the USA.”

The Sister Park agreement will enable international co-operation between both parks to support their shared goals in nature conservation and promoting natural and cultural tourism. Activities under the arrangement will include information exchange, collaboration and sharing good practice in areas such as community engagement, cultural and visitor service management, forestry and fire management, wilderness and dark sky management and climate change.


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