High Impact Recreation in Bushland – a Trojan Horse?

Ku-ring-gai Council is currently promoting more ‘recreational use’ of our bushland reserves.  FOKE has real concerns that these high impact sports will seriously threaten Ku-ring-gai’s natural environment by clearing, fragmenting and degrading sensitive bushland that will seriously threaten Ku-ring-gai’s birds and wildlife whose habitat is being coveted by recreational users.

Ku-ring-gai Council signalled its support for high impact sports by first inviting sports users to workshops promoting these sports followed by invitations to those with environmental concerns. Some of the high impact sports include trail running, rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking.

The National Parks Association has raised an alarm happening in Orange, where the Orange City Council has supported the construction of 60 kilometres of mountain bike trails in the Mount Canobolas State Conservation Areas – supposedly a protected site.  The mountain bike industry is also pushing for 82 kilometres of constructed bike tracks in the Illawarra Escarpment Conservation Areas that will clear up to 16 hectares of rare and sensitive rainforest.

High impact sports are no more appropriate in bushland reserves than clearing them for netball courts or new ovals.  Illegal bike tracks do exist in bushland reserves and there is concerns that some of these tracks may be used as an excuse for bike track industries to justify further and more intrusive bike track construction in bushland areas.

It is important that this recreational policy is not allowed to appropriate and destroy Ku-ring-gai’s precious bushland, a vital habitat for many threatened birds and wildlife.

Council needs to hear from residents. Please email or call to let them know your concerns.