Otago Daily Times

Con­ser­va­tion land for tracks clearly on maps

- HAMISH MA­CLEAN hamish.ma­clean@odt.co.nz South Africa News · Mountain Biking · Bicycles · Outdoor Hobbies · Hobbies · New Zealand Department of Conservation · Otago · Queenstown · Queenstown · New Zealand

SCORES of new cy­cle tracks and trails pro­posed for pub­lic con­ser­va­tion land could be a step closer.

The Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion yes­ter­day called for sub­mis­sions on whether new Otago bike trails should be al­lowed in cer­tain ar­eas of con­ser­va­tion land after it re­ceived 115 pro­pos­als from 22 pro­po­nents in an au­tumn round of con­sul­ta­tion.

Its par­tial re­view of the depart­ment’s draft Otago Con­ser­va­tion Man­age­ment Strat­egy, a strat­egy doc­u­ment set­ting ac­tiv­i­ties on the pub­lic con­ser­va­tion lands, the depart­ment says it wants to know which trails should be con­sid­ered.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion Whakatipu wai Maori op­er­a­tions man­ager Ge­off Owen said the draft strat­egy did ac­knowl­edge po­ten­tial cy­cle trail ini­tia­tives, but not nec­es­sar­ily the in­di­vid­ual pub­lic lands they would cross.

The process to date had iden­ti­fied more than 300 parcels of pub­lic con­ser­va­tion land that would be af­fected, the depart­ment said.

Track and trail pro­pos­als from groups in­clud­ing the Queen­stown Moun­tain Bike Club, The Maun­gatika Trust, Moun­tain Bik­ers of Alexan­dra Inc, the Up­per Clutha Tracks Trust, and oth­ers, are now over­laid on maps avail­able on­line and printed out in depart­ment of­fices.

The maps in­clude large swathes of green where the use of the land for trails is sup­ported, ar­eas coloured red where the use is not sup­ported, as well as some ar­eas that are or­ange, which are up for dis­cus­sion.

The par­tial re­view would be open for pub­lic sub­mis­sions un­til De­cem­ber 21, the depart­ment said.

After sub­mis­sions closed, pub­lic hear­ings would fol­low.

A re­vised par­tial re­view would then be con­sid­ered by the Otago Con­ser­va­tion Board be­fore go­ing to the New Zealand Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity for its con­sid­er­a­tion and ap­proval, the depart­ment said.

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