You are hereBantry Bay Illegal Access Continues to Waste NPWS Resources

Bantry Bay Illegal Access Continues to Waste NPWS Resources

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 28 May 2009

Just a heads up from a conversation I had with NPWS rangers this arvo.

It seems that illegal riding at Bantry Bay continues and they have had 'ministerial complaints' about riders on the Aboriginal carvings there.

Due to this they are going to have to fence (chain link was mentioned) and block off more access into this area.

Yet more time and money wasted on these measures that could be better spent on other things. I cannot say more here (and please do not ask), but there are glimmers of hope for riders in National Parks (one only has to look to Glenrock to see times are changing).

So come on, do the right thing, eh?

nrthrnben's picture

carvings only, where everyone rides there are no carvings,maybe we could put some rocks along at the entrances to the few area's riders could actually ride into the "carving area".

Is it possible to have a nice chat with the ranger and come to a comprimise. Maybe a nice little sign for the mountain bikers saying thet unless we stay on the track it will be shut off.

cambowambo's picture

I agree.

I've never seen anyone ride them nor are there any bikeable tracks onto the carvings.

Although over the years I have seen plenty of pedestrians walking on the carvings.

I do think the carvings could be better protected. This would best use NPWS resources if it were done close to the carvings.

I don't see how their stated objective has to anything to do with bikes on the Bantry Bay Loop - why not extend their "logic" and block the Wakehurst Parkway as well: that'll keep all the traffic away from the carvings.

jedijunglesnow's picture

The carvings themselves could be better protected. I agree with all comments except for stating that there aren't any bikeable tracks onto the carvings.

Take a look one day, there is evidence of people riding there. Why I don't know, but some idiots do.

The singletrack around there doesn't go over the carvings at all, seems almost like NPWS trying to state a reason to justify their ban on riding Bantry Bay.

Just curious Rob, if you were having a polite old chat with the ranger, did you mention it to him/her? Was the issue raised that the carvings could be better protected without affecting the trail around there at all?

Ian G's picture

Was there not a plan to construct some townhouses at the end of Bantry Bay Road? Not sure if this is still going to happen though. If it was surely this would cause more envirnmental issues to this area than us riding the Bantry Bay loop.

MDOldFart's picture

but I for one don't think this should be a discussion about whether or not we do any damage to aboriginal carvings when we ride the "standard" Bantry Bay loop. If you have ridden the loop you'll no doubt have realised there aren't many carvings on or near it. Nor should it be about who we've seen on the carvings or what damage more housing will do.

The sad fact of the matter is that NPWS have deemed that, for the moment atleast, this is not an area suitable for mountain bike riding and as a result have restricted our access to it. Sucks, I know, but that's where it is at at the moment.

This should surely be about us doing the right thing. There are many many people doing fantastic work trying to gain better access for us all and I would like to think that we have enough respect for the work they are doing that whilst these "negotiations" are taking place we respect the rules we have been asked to play by. As with most things one bad apple will always taint the appearance of the box.

I would hope that all of us here have enough appreciation for what people like Rob are doing that should we see people riding in areas that we know are not "legal" we are prepared to say something to them. I'm not suggesting that you "stick" their front wheel but politely point out the error of their ways, there is still a slight chance that ignorance of the area is to blame.

Happy trails

The Old Fart

jedijunglesnow's picture

You make a good point and I agree with you but I think yes, you are missing the point.

All of the above posts above are asking fair questions about ways that the trail around Bantry Bay can be able to be open to riding. And that is the point, sustainable ways to get trail access.

No one is actually talking about riding it whilst NPWS has it closed, and shame on anyone who does.

cambowambo's picture

I went around the Bantry Bay Loop last Saturday.

It was closed to mountain bikes - and anybody else by the look of the star pickets, tree branches, rocks and brush they've piled up at the entrance.

There were no signs and strangely they only closed one end of the track. I just assumed it was closed only to bikes and went on foot.

I didn't see any bike tracks.

I think that anybody who would ride on aboriginal carvings is sufficiently stupid and/or anti-social that they will ignore mountain bike track closure signs too. I'm hoping these are a minority.

I would prefer to see this minority dealt with by NPWS preventative measures, rather than having all tracks closed to all riders all of the time.

Closing tracks just leads to new tracks and ways around the old ones - it actually encourages people to find and make new tracks. It also reduces the effectiveness of any future track closures. Thereby wasting future NPWS resources.

nrthrnben's picture

to mountain biking, we have to try to keep open as many single trail tracks as possible. It is not practical to wait for national parks to come to the party with legalizing riding in NP's, if we did that we would be riding on around 90% fire trail (something of which a very small minority actually crave for).I am not saying go ride every walking trail you come across, but when a situation comes up with National Parks wanting to shut us down, address the problem, so we can keep riding enjoyable tracks. We have to show them how much we need every bit of track, especially when it is so local. There are no signs on the back of the carvings, I'll put my hand up and say the first time we rode there we rode in as we had no idea what was there, and yes it does leave marks. So i am thinking the majority of riders actually entering the carvings are actually doing it not knowing they are disrespecting the Aboriginal community. Signs and barricades of some sort are all that is needed on the perimeter of the carvings.

We realize that there are more important issues going on behind the scenes, but you just can’t sit back and let them close down every trail in the meantime. It could be years before we get legal trails in NP's in our region.
The Glenrock scene im sure has given everyone a great deal of faith with world trails contracted by NP's to build a trail network, but that doesn't mean they have to take bantry when the problem could be rectified easily.

Rob's picture

It's all well and good talking here, but you're just preaching to the converted. Write to your local MP or the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment. You can email them and only takes a second.

However, if you do this try not to be negative and put forward solutions to the problems (like your suggestion of only fencing of critical cultural or environmental areas).

MDOldFart's picture

be illegal helps how?

It's not rocket science. If you are trying to negotiate something with a person that holds a position of power over you, and NPWS do over us, and they give you a couple of directions to comply with. If you ignore those directions what chance do you think there is of you getting what you want from them?

There are ways to show them how much you need your local single track without openly defying track closures like this.

Jedi you are right, they are perfectly legitimate questions but I think discussions about how to negotiate with land owners to open up trails we have had access to and discussions abut people that continue to ride illegal trails are two seperate issues.

jedijunglesnow's picture

Still aree with you Old Fart, but as I said most of these particular threads have been asking questions and making points about trail access.

No one is saying go and ride Bantry Bay. It is currently illegal.

Hey Rob still interested to know if you pointed out to the ranger that the carvings could be better protected without affecting the singletrack and if so what they said...

Rob's picture

I could have told them that they should put a more localised barrier around the carvings, but as any riding in that area is illegal would probably have created a pointless argument with that.

I did ask that they leave the opening to get over from the Dam so the route round to the scout hut, etc. is still available.

jedijunglesnow's picture

Cheers for the good work

MDOldFart's picture

I had envisaged a chain wire fence along the road. Lets hope they listen to your suggestions, thanks

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