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Rationalising the Local Network ~ a Sustainable Approach Ray James. Local Trails Responsibility. Managing lands for trails contingent on … Demonstrable demand Measurable & reviewable risk assessment Sustainable containment of risk Resource supply longevity

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Rationalising the local network a sustainable approach ray james l.jpg
Rationalising the Local Network ~ a Sustainable ApproachRay James

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Local Trails Responsibility

Managing lands for trails contingent on …

  • Demonstrable demand

  • Measurable & reviewable risk assessment

  • Sustainable containment of risk

  • Resource supply longevity

  • Community support for the ‘long haul’

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Sensitive Setting

  • Environmentally & Culturally

  • Clean drinking water for Plains dwellers

  • A Region worth visiting ~ Tourism

  • Great place to bring up the kids

  • Let’s enjoy …

  • And be sensible how we do all this …

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Risky Spaghetti

  • Sustainable = rational risk management

  • Trails & informal tracks (routes) in the Hills

  • Myriad of high profile (Mawson, Heysen, Tom Roberts, Mt Lofty, Women’s Pioneer, Yurrebilla) trails

  • Interconnecting plethora of local routes that

    need rationalizing in a responsible manner

    within an atmosphere of …

    clinical assessment & cool negotiation

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Adelaide Hills Council ~ Strategic Direction

Trail management … fits Council’s strategic direction

  • Socially responsible

  • Environmentally sustainable

  • Economically sound

    and the Mission that …

  • encourages Leadership

  • empowers Community spirit

  • within responsible Service provision

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Adelaide Hills Council

Spaghetti of Existing

Trails & Road Reserves

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The Long Paddock

Council’s 700 km2 …Interconnects with

  • 1/3 State Nature Reserves

  • 1/3 Primary Production

  • 1/3 Residential and Commercial development

    Council manages …

  • 450 land parcels (Reserves) (350 ha)

  • Some 1500 km x 20m Road Reserves of …

    Made (maintained) roadways incl. road verges

    Unmade (no roadway) open linear corridor

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Passive Use

Within such an Environmentally sensitive watershed

Legislation & regulation directs …

  • Passive recreational trail possible PROVIDED …

  • Catchment not compromised

  • Provision of sustainable wildlife corridors

  • Retention / enhancement of native vegetation

  • Dreaming trail prescription site protection

  • Public safety is not jeopardised

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Paradigms are often inclusive

Compatible ~ Recreation & Ecosystem demands

  • Considerable effort … but both land uses possible

    within triple bottom line philosophy

  • Sometimes environmental / cultural /social paradigms are so outstanding … NO contest!

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Trail Determinations

Council policy dictates … Trails may either be …

  • Established

  • Refurbished or

  • Closed (redirected resource allocation)

    In the regional context Council seeks to …

  • Enhance value to the community of its holdings ...

    by utilising compatible multiple purposes

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The Balancing Act

Council’s challenge is to …

  • maintain safe trail facilities

  • within a balanced paradigm that is …

    environmentally sensitive

    culturally appropriate

    socially acceptable

    resource friendly

  • be accountable to its community

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Measured Accountability

Risks addressed …

  • Aboriginal site / dreaming trail sensitivity

  • Native plant associations & species diversity

  • Habitat sustainability

  • Ground cover stability and soil friability

  • Water quality retention and ecological flows

  • Ecological structural integrity

  • Interested party support

    … within an atmosphere of frugal business acuity

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The Environment & Trails too …

  • everyone … take on a responsibility!

  • Council seeks to enhance our living environment, long term (300 years?) …

    all (good and reasonable) parcels and road reserve stands to remain contiguous

    all stable and sensitive sites to be retained in current stance to exclusion of other needs

    lesser quality corridors retained for trail enhancement &/or development

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To date …

Council linear corridors assessed for …

  • Recreational trail potential

  • Farming & access leasehold demand

  • Traditional owner cultural significance

  • Conservation value incl. soil & water

    So we can enhance … Aesthetic appeal Cultural value, and

    sheer Exhilaration of being there

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But how …

Sustainability Rating …

  • Recreation Risk Rating

    Counterbalanced against

  • Conservation Rating

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The Recreation Risk Rating

Categories & type of user assessed …

  • Level of interconnectivity (National, regional or local trail demand)

  • Risk ratings: AUS standard and Corridor width

    Pathogens (eg Phytophthora)

    Livestock access and soil stability

    Bushfire threat (fuel load) Waterway impact

    Natural Landscape value Culturally significant?

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Conservation Rating

Natural stands of native vegetation, fauna habitat and associated ecological features assessed …

  • Threatened species

  • Canopy cover

  • Understorey status

  • Habitat integrity

  • Weed invasion

  • Mechanical damage

  • Management strategy

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Sustainability Measured …

Ratings …

A Extreme Risk – No trail; No leasing

B High Risk – No leasing; local walking only

(unless Phytophthora risk high = no trail)

C High Risk – Short term leasing; Local & Regional (walk & ride) trails only

D Moderate Risk – Leasing; all trails and trail uses permitted; opportunity to rehabilitate site

E Low risk – Leasing; not suitable to resource as a trail nor for rehabilitation

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Implications …

Uses and impacts may clash with priority on sensitivity in the local community of …

  • Flora

  • Fauna

  • Soil and water

  • Culture and

  • Human settlement and visitation

    Now & into the future is paramount target!

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Reality Check

Of all routes assessed …

  • considerable number unacceptable for trails use

  • justified through holistic yet objective criteria

  • Acceptable routes well reasoned options

  • Suitable alternatives for projected demands

  • ‘human’ community reasonableness sounded out

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Local Trails Guaranteed

Because threatening processes evaluated …

  • Many local trails will now be retained

  • Some routes will be extended

  • Unsustainable ones to be decommissioned or not contemplated

  • Alternative uses (eg conservation, social adjuncts, economic return) under consideration

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Logic reigns

Method of determining a Sustainability Rating …

  • Appears to be equitable across all routes

  • Incorporates the precautionary principle (of environmental & cultural protection)

  • Accounts for resource allocation process in addressing …

    Potential status of trail - National, Regional, Local

    Type of trail (walk &/or ride)

    Level of longterm support to maintain the route at AUS standard

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Strategic Trails Management

~ is workable,


it addresses essentials of responsible

land stewardship