New proposed Mountain Bike Trails at Mt Canobolas

EARTH FIRST | There’s plenty of dollars but little sense in Mount Canobolas proposal

The following piece was published by the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange in their weekly ‘Earth First’ column …

Standing sentinel over Orange in the cleared landscape of the Central West is a 12-million-year-old volcanic remnant.

Mount Canobolas has been dormant since its formative years, but NSW government policy is causing a rumble.

This government has shown it is capable of contempt on core environmental values.

Imposing the whim of council and a sporting club on the mountain, using rate- and tax-payers’ money, seems a bit rich by any standards.

Moreover, it has shunned its own scientific advisors in its bare-faced bid to open up nature conservation areas for commercial exploitation.

The mountain is iconic for its beauty, cultural heritage, geo-heritage, biodiversity and touristic magnetism. With a summit of near 1400 metres it is home to over 800 species that have evolved over millions of years.

The remarkably rich biodiversity makes the 1672-hectare island of native sub-alpine vegetation an exceedingly rare and irreplaceable relic.

Orange City Council, however, see the icon through dollar-tinted glasses – just another piece of real estate ripe for the picking. The latest of many schemes is for mountain biking.

Council has lobbied the Minister for the Environment to revise the Plan of Management for the SCA to consider 63 kilometres of new purpose-built mountain biking tracks.

It also expects to attract around 50,000 visitors annually, whose trampling would undoubtedly be equally destructive.

Imposing the whim of council and a sporting club on the mountain, using rate- and tax-payers’ money, seems a bit rich by any standards.

What also beggars belief is that there is ample opportunity to develop a mountain biking industry in the surrounding Glenwood and Canobolas State Forests.

What the NSW Government and the custodians of Orange should be considering is the nomination of Mount Canobolas SCA for State Heritage Listing to secure its future for humanity, not mountain bikers.

By Richard Medd

Read the article on Central Western Daily – August 17 2018 


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