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Continued Heaphy Track mountain biking recommended

October 22nd, 2013

The Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board is recommending mountain biking continue on the Heaphy Track over its current five-month winter season.

The board is recommending to the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) that mountain biking on the Heaphy and two other Kahurangi National Park tracks continue under the terms currently allowed in a three-year trial of mountain biking on the tracks.

In the trial, mountain biking has been allowed on the Heaphy Track from 1 May to 30 September and year-round on the Flora Saddle to Barron Flat and Kill Devil tracks.

The NZCA will be asked to consider the board's recommendations at its 11-12 December meeting and to make final decisions in consultation with the Minister of Conservation.

The Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board made its recommendations at its meeting this month after considering a Department of Conservation report on the mountain biking trials. The report included results of monitoring of the biking's impacts on other track users and its effects on the tracks and park wildlife.

'The board is satisfied from the monitoring information in the DOC report that any difficulties with bike riders and walkers sharing the tracks had been minimal and were at an acceptable level,' said Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board Chair Ross Hall.

Ross Hall said the board had taken the view any consideration of extending the mountain biking season on the Heaphy Track would best take place when the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan is next reviewed. Public comment on the length of the mountain biking season on the track could then be made as part of wider public consultation on park management proposals.

Around 5750 mountain bikers rode the 78 km Heaphy Track during the three-year winter-season trial on the track that concluded on 30 September.

The Kahurangi National Park mountain bike trial monitoring and recommendation reports can be downloaded and viewed on the DOC website: www.doc.govt.nz




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