MEDIA REPORT | Orange conservationists ‘appalled’ at Mount Canobolas biking report

By David Fitzsimons, Central Western Daily website, 29 July 2021

Conservationists opposed to a mountain bike trail park being opened on Mount Canobolas say they are shocked at a new report proposing more trails.

Canobolas Conservation Alliance president Dr Colin Bower said if proposals in the report to Orange City Council were adopted serious environmental damage would result.

We are appalled at the insensitivity of this plan Dr Colin Bower, CCA president

“This new plan carves up the most important nature conservation reserve in the region with over 70 kilometres of tracks that will cause widespread soil erosion and habitat loss, and lead to the long-term degradation of the conservation area,” he said.ADVERTISING

“There are more tracks planned for the State Conservation Area than in the original proposal released in 2015, not less, despite the many concerns raised by our group and the public.

“We are appalled at the insensitivity of this plan which we believe cannot be allowed to go ahead.”

The report by DirtArt was noted by council’s meeting this week.

Several councillors said the report provided a detailed assessment of the sensitive areas on the mountain and areas infested with weeds and damaged by pests.

Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said it was “genuine research and investigation. This is open and out there for everybody to go through.”

However Dr Bower said the bike plan was “much worse than we thought.

“He said endangered and critically endangered ecological communities would be “severely fragmented and harmed.

“This damage would come at high monetary cost to the council and its ratepayers, because council would be required to pay for its damage through the NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.

“He said the group had been trying to have the area declared as one of outstanding biodiversity value to reduce the capacity for harm.

However, he said it appeared the state government was ‘stonewalling’ over the issue.