Park Rangers pleased with national park trailbikers
Friday 17 May, 2019
More trailbikers have been spotted doing the right thing in the Great Otway National Park, encouraging Park Rangers that their conservation and compliance efforts are having an impact.
During a compliance operation in April, Park Rangers and officers from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), found that most trailbikers were riding on formed tracks.
Off-road riding in a national park is not only an offence that attracts a fine of up to $806, it is an activity that damages the environment, endangers wildlife and can put other park visitors at risk.
Around 70 riders were stopped over the ANZAC Day long weekend, with just four receiving infringement notices for being off-road. This compares to similar operations last year when more than 50 riders were caught riding illegally.
With half-a-dozen authorised officers on trailbikes, the operation also identified nine people riding without a licence and eight who had unregistered bikes, matters that will be further investigated by Victoria Police.
While out in the national park, Rangers also issued three fines for illegal camping that totalled $966, and an infringement notice for $806 for an illegal fire.
Trailbike riding is generally permitted within many state forests and parks, however riders must remain on designated vehicle tracks. Some tracks are closed to the public at some locations and riders should check local regulations and obey signs to ensure they are doing the right thing.
Quotes attributable to Scott Nicholson, Ranger Team Leader– Parks Victoria:
“Great Otway National Park protects significant populations of native plants and animals, including threatened species, which is why we don’t tolerate off-road riding.”
“While we will continue operations in and around the national park to ensure it’s protected, we have been encouraged by the reduction in off-road trailbike riding.”
“With thousands of kilometres of designated tracks available for this activity, we ask that people consider their impact on the environment and others, and only ride where permitted.”
Quotes attributable to Roger Pitt, Trail Bike Project Manager, DELWP:
“There are a few key requirements when you’re riding on public land – a motorcycle licence, a registered motorcycle, and you must only ride on formed roads and official vehicle tracks.”
“Normal road rules apply in forests and parks, so keep left, wear a helmet and ride to the conditions for the safety of yourself and others.”
“Parks Victoria and DELWP officers use trailbikes and four-wheel drive vehicles to conduct patrols across Victoria’s parks and forests to protect the environment and improve public safety.”