Photo: Jodie Berry
Following the release of the Forest Products Commission’s Plantation Management Plan 2016-2026 the MRORCA committee thought it would be useful for us to convey pertinent information from this document.
The MRORCA committee in consultation with the land manager DEPAW, MR Shire council and the MR Tourism Association have had many discussions to secure “The Pines” for duel use forestry and recreational uses well into the future. The outcome of these discussions have resulted in a very positive outlook for the future of this unique mountain biking destination that has become a major part of the “Margaret River Experience”
The inevitable harvesting will take place over the next six years in three clear-felling operations. This schedule has been planned to reduce the impact on the trails by harvesting areas no larger than 40 ha in a two year period. The next harvesting will take place in 2017 this block has the trails “Happy Ending and the return of “Noodle Bowl”. So little impact on the current network. No harvest in 2018 although there will be some thinning in adjacent plantation areas followed in 2019 with the harvesting of the block containing the top sections of “Aunt Lou”, “Mr Nice”, “The End”, “Woop Woop” and “Lily Trail” No Harvest in 2020. The last clear felling operation will see the block containing the remaining sections of the 2019 trails. The trails in “Compartment 10” namely “Paper Trail” and “Big Pine” will be unaffected as will the six new trails currently under construction through this area of native forest between the Wadandi Rail Trail and the Pines block.
FPC has pledged to gain efficiencies by working cooperatively with MRORCA to co-ordinate and cost share to re-establish the trails and the plantation. FPC has acknowledged the potential benefits of a well-planned trail network in the plantation to encourage tourism, to increase public visitation and reduce anti-social behaviour. Plantation forestry uses little if any pesticides and only uses herbicides for the first three years whilst the trees are established and to combat declared weed outbreaks or to maintain fire breaks.
This outcome as outlined in the FPC document will see the “Pines” continued use for recreational mountain biking for the next thirty year cycle.