Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


4WD use encouraged by DOC’s Conservation Management Strategy

11 July 2013

4WD use encouraged by DOC’s CMS

The Department of Conservation (DOC) wants more people to make the most of Otago’s four-wheel drive roads and rugged routes and is asking four-wheel drive enthusiasts to have their say about their hobby.

DOC has outlined its policy on four-wheel driving in its recently released draft Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) for Otago, which will guide DOC’s management of conservation land, wildlife, cultural heritage and recreation in Otago for the next 10 years.

The CMS highlights areas that are available for four-wheel driving such as Oteake Conservation Park in Central Otago, Macetown and Skippers near Queenstown and Te Papanui near Dunedin.

Wanaka Area Office Manager Paul Hellebrekers says Otago has a range of challenging routes on conservation land which DOC would like to promote for four-wheel driving but he asks that drivers stay on the roads so as to protect the fragile high country terrain.

“There are many opportunities for four-wheel driving on public conservation land, especially on roads running through areas that were formerly pastoral leasehold land,” Mr Hellebrekers said.

Four-wheel driving on conservation land near Wanaka occurs within the Pisa Conservation Area and access is allowed under a permit system introduced in 2008 after four-wheel drives and trail bikes damaged sensitive and fragile wetland areas on top of the Pisa Range.

Mr Hellebrekers said the Pisa Range permit system works well, at no cost to drivers, and satisfies adjacent neighbours who also had concerns about the behaviour of drivers. Permit applications are available on www.doc.govt.nz

Wakatipu Area Manager Greg Lind said Macetown had experienced major problems with four-wheel drivers going off road and causing major degradation in wetland areas. DOC has reduced the problem through signs, fencing, prosecutions and working with neighbouring landowners. “So now four-wheel drivers are still enjoying a unique 4WD experience with its many river crossings and remote country,” Mr Lind said.

In the Skippers area, DOC and Shotover four-wheel drive club members are developing a management agreement formalising how the club can continue to use the route into Skippers Creek in exchange for club members maintaining the route.

“This is a gnarly route with lots of steep inclines that is popular with drivers because it allows them to push their drive training and experience to the limit,” Mr Lind says.

Shotover club members had some input into development of the draft CMS.

Sometimes DOC restricts access for four-wheel drive vehicles during the winter and if there is a health and safety or fire risk. This avoids damage to roads and tracks and minimises conflict and public safety issues.

Central Otago has spectacular 4WD opportunities, many of which are also through former pastoral leasehold land. While there are some ongoing issues where users have ignored locked gates and driven over fences, in the main the public are responsible and stay on formed tracks. Road maintenance work by DOC has decreased the number of issues with track surfaces and concessionaires and the public are quick to advise DOC of damage and instances where fences are down or locks have been damaged.

Coastal Otago Area Manager Robin Thomas said in the past four-wheel drive and motor-bike users had occasionally damaged and disturbed wetlands in Te Papanui Conservation Park.

“These fragile wetlands and bogs in the wetter coastal area are prone to damage and can take decades to recover. Drivers also braid the tracks, (vehicles strike soft ground and go around it) but we have largely solved this by both liaising with the local clubs and ‘armouring’ the main route to provide a more solid base,” Mr Thomas said.

“The majority of vehicle users are responsible and respect these sites. Unfortunately, it only takes one or two people to create a problem.”

DOC is encouraging four-wheel drive and motor-bike clubs to “adopt a track”. “Come and talk to us about your ideas for good routes. We can find ways you can help, like removing water from tracks and distributing gravel onto boggy sections. We want to provide opportunities for vehicles in the back country and we encourage clubs to hold working bees on sections of tracks to allow that,” Mr Thomas said.

The public can view the draft Otago CMS on the DOC website at www.doc.govt.nz/cms. This website also includes a submission form and information on how people can make a submission. Submissions are open until 13 September 2013.

Further information

A CMS is a statutory document that provides strategic direction for DOC’s management of public conservation land integrating legislation, policy, strategic goals over a ten-year period. It aims, through conversations with communities, to show how natural, historic and cultural heritage of regional and local importance fit into the national context.

A CMS also:

• identifies how to integrate management of places to achieve national conservation outcomes;
• clarifies priorities for management of conservation resources;
• guides decision making (e.g. on applications to undertake commercial activities);
• describes conservation outcomes to be achieved;
• sets out a framework to increase conservation efforts over the next decade recognising that the department cannot do it alone.

The draft Otago CMS has been prepared by DOC in consultation with the Otago Conservation Board, Ngai Tahu and the community.

Draft CMSs have also been released for Canterbury and Southland.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news