Royal National Park Management plan. Have your say

Discussion in 'General MTB Discussion' started by bigdamo, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. bigdamo

    bigdamo Likes Bikes

  2. Nerf Herder

    Nerf Herder Wheel size expert

    Bumping ... Get on this peeps, even if you are out of state ... They want to even ban All Mountain ... C'mon
  3. Halo1

    Halo1 Likes Dirt

    It is very important for riders in Wollongong/Illawarra region to jump on board and have your say in regards to the exclusion of all mountain and downhill trails. We don't want this process setting a policy precedent for the development of trails in Illawarra escarpment or other areas.

    It is baffling that NPWS don't get that trails should be developed based on their environmental impact and satisfying rider experience for the best outcomes of the park.
  4. bigdamo

    bigdamo Likes Bikes

    Because part of the management plan takes in the Garawarra State conversation Area at Helensburgh part of the Illawarra area. Check the map. Scroll down to the bottom. There is some good riding in there. Don't want to be riding another packed down clay McFlow trail which is good for a SS.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  5. Halo1

    Halo1 Likes Dirt

    I was thinking more along the lines of the proposal to develop Trails at MT Keira and the surrounding areas. This will come under a different area plan of management and I fear NPWS will come back with the same BS when this process gets to where the RNP is at now.

    The Dirt Art feasibility study for MT K is underway and NPWS look like they have largely ignored their recommendations for the RNP and those other areas you mention. It would be great to see those trails formally linked up with the Brokers Nose area and beyond to Keira/Kembla. So much potential yet so little vision from NPSW.
  6. bigdamo

    bigdamo Likes Bikes

    The powers that be if they had some foresight could have a MTB trail from Grays point/Sutherland all the way down to Mt Keira with access from the train in certain areas.
  7. johnny

    johnny I'll tells ya! Staff Member

    Did my bit, pointing out that without at least AM trails me and all my hordes of Canberra mates (hahahaha...., I'm so lonely) won't bother touristing and supporting local businesses. Which is actually true, all except the bit about having mates.
  8. Ultra Lord

    Ultra Lord Likes Bikes and Dirt

    That and bored people will end up building fun trails illegally, which is what has been the case in the RNP for god knows how many years.

    The trails between loftus and grays point are pretty fun, steep and techy. But not what RNP thinks of as sustainable. Atm we get to use them without them getting torn down and blocked off as long as we keep it contained to that area. Kind of a gentlemen's agreement I believe, mind you this is coming second hand from my local bike shop.
  9. mikedh

    mikedh Likes Bikes

    As soon as I read "The network will not be designed to provide opportunities for highly technical riders, all-mountain or downhill riding" I got concerned. The last thing I want to see is more boring family-friendly Celine Dion type trail without a single drop, jump or ladder bridge. I can only speak for myself, but I prefer tight technical over flow trail any day. There is room for everyone's needs.

    I have read the Dirt Art report that this appears to be based on, and while the report points out (several times) the growth of the all-mountain category, none of the trails it proposes have a difficulty rating of black diamond. Adding to this, a clear exclusion of opportunities for highly technical/all-mountain/DH riding is actually offensive to me. I can understand excluding DH trails, there isn't the elevation drop to provide an actual DH experience, but preemptively limiting the area's trail difficulty potential (and thereby limiting future users skill advancement) is not the way forward for a growing sport with such potential.

    A few elements I have pointed out in my response:
    - The kids using beginner trails today will continue to advance in skill. Not providing advanced trails now will re-create the illegal trail problem in the future.
    - Page 25 of the TAR claims that The all-mountain category will continue to grow as will the demand for more challenging, descent focused trails.
    - Page 66 of the TAR states 54% of the 2015 survey participants indicated their skills as intermediate, and 38% indicated their skills as advanced. Excluding advanced trail gives no opportunity for the intermediate to increase their skills at the same time providing nothing for the already advanced.
    - Page 66 of the TAR also states that 47% of the 2015 survey participants claimed they prefer XC, while 44% prefer all-mountain and 3% prefer DH. 44+3=47, which is the same interest in XC. Not designing the trail network for 47% (as stated) is ignoring a very significant amount of participants that will be using the trails.
    - Page 70 of the TAR notes that 2015 survey participants had common themes in additional comments, including concern over "dumbing down" of the trails and making them unnecessarily easier.
    - Stating "opportunities will be explored" in regards to the involvement of the community, volunteers and others in regards to development, management, etc. is a purposefully passive and vague statement. Either the people who are passionate about the trails and will be using them are invited to be involved or they are not.
    -It needs to be clear who is finalizing the decisions and how they are coming to these decisions.
    -It needs to be clear what metrics are being used (ie: subjectivity can really alter trail creation - how are trail features classified?)

    Does the RNP need better MTB trail management? Of course it does, and I can understand the need for a more comprehensive plan. Advanced/technical trail exclusion is something I feel needs to be corrected for the progression of our sport. I hope this acquires more attention before we all end up with every trail becoming a flow trail with no features.
  10. Mr Crudley

    Mr Crudley Likes Bikes and Dirt

    The RNP have struggled with this for a long time and you wouldn't think it would be *that* hard. I guess a bit of shire nimbyism's is part of the issue. If they insist on making it a family friendly / insurance appeasing trails then as mentioned new trails will get built and the cycle will continue. I just don't think the RNP have too much to do there and tend to overthink things to the point of little action popping out at the end of 'the process'.

    Atleast the Blue Mountain's National Park has more land play with and having the Oaks ST run parallel and mostly hidden from the main access firetrail has to help and it used pretty heavily.
  11. mikedh

    mikedh Likes Bikes

    I absolutely agree. While my cynicism is firmly camped in the "you are wasting time arguing this", my recognition of appealing to the lowest common denominator in my passion compels me to counter the incredibly short-sighted Parks & Wildlife Service paper. I have kids that will be using these trails, kids that grow up watching Brandon Semenuk and Troy Brosnan on youtube. These kids represent the next generation of riders and if the NSW Parks & Wildlife Service wants to ignore the direction of the increasingly popular sport for a sanitised brochure depiction, they do it at their own waste of time and resources. This is the core of my argument against advanced trail exclusion: they can include and manage advanced trails now, or find themselves chasing after unauthorised trail building in the future. If the Dirt Art TAR is correct in its research of demographics, a significant amount of regular trail users will have children, many of these children will enjoy the sport and these children will be increasing their skills rapidly. Advanced trail exclusion is a very short term solution that looks good on paper for aspirational administration types that may not have to deal with the blind-spots of their implemented plans several years from now.

    I'm somewhat disappointed this isn't a hotbed discussion, but I (think I) understand. When the Multiple Choice jump line (beside the original line) at Wylde was constructed, I was excited to see more advanced offerings. That line is all but deserted now. Maybe one out of ten riders at Hornsby would enjoy the original ladder bridge. Perhaps I'm in the minority for advocating more difficult and technical trail while the majority just want flow pumps (I honestly don't know).

    At this stage in life I've concluded that change requires money. I'd be willing to donate money and time to an advocacy group to argue for inclusion of advanced trails. I have no idea if that even exists.
  12. Halo1

    Halo1 Likes Dirt

    I think you can still buy a water bottle to help trail care This can help them to lobby the NSW government to help fund MTB in national parks.

    I think that NPWS will only change their attitude to MTB if they ordered to by the Government above them. Hopefully this process will show the relevant minister that there is overwhelming support for MTB and the right mix of trails needed. Joining your nearest MTB club also helps.
  13. mikedh

    mikedh Likes Bikes

    Nice, thanks for that. This site appears to be broken for me but I'll try again later.

    I'm not really into racing and don't intend to get into the idea. I've planted my flag firmly in the recreational gravity camp and I'm an old person, so is there any real tangible benefit to joining a local club? I looked around for club websites and not a single one mentions the RNP management plan or general trail advocacy, it's all about racing. Maybe I'm missing something.
  14. John Deere

    John Deere Squid

    Pretty sure most clubs will make a submission, but it is important that we all make a submission too, or NPWS will think there is no problem.

    Of course they know there is one, but it would be nice if they discovered it is bigger than they thought.
  15. John Deere

    John Deere Squid

    Here are some good reasons to join a club:

    The burgh club is also actively promoting a legalised trail network in their area and working towards making it a reality. See their reply to the RNP plan of management here:
  16. mikedh

    mikedh Likes Bikes

    8 days left for anyone still considering submitting their thoughts on the management plan seemingly interested in removing advanced trail from the area.
  17. John Deere

    John Deere Squid

    If you care about riding in the Royal National Park, send an email to

    Feel free to copy and paste the below into an email if you can't think something up:

    Dear NPWS,

    I am pleased to see that there may be some positive movement in relation to the Management Plan governing mountain biking in the RNP, Garawarra area and Heathcote National Park. I have the following comments on the discussion paper for your review:

    - I fully support the formalisation of a trail network in the 3 areas and NPWS needs to quickly move forward on developing the MTB track network.
    - NPWS should develop a separate plan of management for the RNP and Garawarra State Conservation area to clearly differentiate between Garawarra State Conservation area, that is pre-disturbed and not part of the Heritage protected Royal National Park land parcel.
    - It would be nice to see NPWS delegate responsibilities of track management and maintenance to local MTB clubs and communities who operate under the authorisation of the Park rangers, similar to the Glenrock model.
    - Perhaps NPWS could consider using the fundraising, labour etc of local MTB clubs and communities to minimise the costs to the National Parks in developing and maintaining the track network and ensure the project can move forward given National Parks limited funding.
    - National Parks to consult with local MTB clubs and communities regarding the location, direction etc. of the proposed/existing network.
    - Incorporate the use of council tracks and trail heads into the plan.
    - Show strong consideration to the use of pre existing trails.

    Yours Sincerely

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