Conservation land for tracks clearly on maps

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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