Shocked by site abuse

Historically significant reserve land at Skippers Canyon is being subjected to ‘‘wholly inappropriate use'' by trail bike riders and needs to be protected by the Department of Conservation, a former Lands Information New Zealand officer says.

Speaking at an Otago Conservation Board meeting's public forum in Wanaka on Friday, Cromwell resident Bruce Mason said he was ‘‘horrified'' by the trail bike degradation being inflicted at Skippers Canyon.

Mr Mason said Doc needed to do more to protect the area of ‘‘outstanding historical importance''.

Skippers Canyon contained former gold-mining sites and the area was not properly categorised and needed to be classified as a historic reserve, instead of its current recreational reserve status, he said.

The area had myriad tracks, with trail bikers riding roughshod over holding dams, sluicing faces and other historic gold-mine trailings, Mr Brown said.

Most of the riders were taking unregistered bikes into the ‘‘public area'', which he claimed was an offence.

Board chairman Hoani Langsbury said it was not the first time trail bikers had been bought to the attention of the board and the situation would ‘‘continue to be monitored''.

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