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Sustainable mountain biking in parks and reserves


The Parks and Wildlife Service is working to deliver sustainable mountain bike recreation areas in two popular Tasmanian reserves, the Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O'Byrne, said today.

Ms O'Byrne said mountain bikers were working with the Parks and Wildlife Service on how they can practice their skills sustainably in Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area and the nearby Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area.

"The challenges facing the management of the reserve are being discussed between the mountain bike users and other users along with the PWS as the land manager.

"The State Government and the PWS recognises that mountain biking is an activity growing in popularity, and that an opportunity exists to provide a quality recreation experience that is well-managed and sustainable.

"A survey of reserve users, from mountain bike riders to horse riders and dog walkers, has been compiled to help develop a track management strategy to support the recently completed reserve management plan for the area on the edge of Launceston.

"The survey will help the PWS gain a better understanding of the level of track use in the two reserves, the extent and diversity of track users and track preferences."

Ms O'Byrne said the PWS is also working closely with Sport and Recreation Tasmania to develop a strategy that includes the needs of the users and the requirements to protect the natural and cultural values of the reserves.
"The growth of mountain biking over the past five years has sometimes led to a clash of needs between land managers and users, and these issues have become more intense in reserves on the fringe of Tasmania's urban areas.

"It is important that we take in to account the needs of all the users of our reserves.

"At times we will not be able to accommodate all their wishes but by taking a proactive and collaborative approach with user groups, the PWS can work towards finding solutions that are responsive but still appropriate in terms of conservation management."

Ms O'Byrne applauded the enthusiastic response by the public to the survey of users of the two reserves.
"The PWS relies on community engagement and feedback to adapt and apply leading management practices to the parks and reserves under its care," she said.

"The challenge for this area on the fringe of Launceston is to develop a strategy that balances the intense use of the reserves with significant natural and cultural values, including 28 threatened plant species and 11 Aboriginal cultural heritage sites."

Trevallyn and Kate Reed reserves are used for horse riding, archery, walking, dog exercising, running, cycling and mountain bike riding.

Ms O'Byrne said a total of 347 survey responses were received for Trevallyn and 197 for the Kate Reed reserves.
"This is a reflection of how important these urban reserves are to the people of Launceston," Ms O'Byrne said.