rationalising the local network a sustainable approach ray james l.
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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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local trails responsibility
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’
sensitive setting
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 …
risky spaghetti
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

adelaide hills council strategic direction
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

Adelaide Hills Council

Spaghetti of Existing

Trails & Road Reserves

the long paddock
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

passive use
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
paradigms are often inclusive
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!
trail determinations
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

the balancing act
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
measured accountability
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

the environment trails too
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

to date
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

but how
But how …

Sustainability Rating …

  • Recreation Risk Rating

Counterbalanced against

  • Conservation Rating
the recreation risk rating
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?

conservation rating
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
sustainability measured
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

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!

reality check
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
local trails guaranteed
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
logic reigns
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

strategic trails management
Strategic Trails Management

~ is workable,


it addresses essentials of responsible

land stewardship