Otago Daily Times

Conservati­on land for tracks clearly on maps

- HAMISH MACLEAN hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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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