Go on, get outside in WA's awesome outdoors!
Outdoors October is an initiative between Outdoors WA and the Department of Sport and Recreation, with the month dedicated to encouraging active recreation amongst nature.
In it’s third year, the month long promotion aims to increase participation in outdoor recreation and provide opportunities for people to try new activities.
Last year local clubs, not-for-profit recreation organisations, as well as local and state government coordinated over 150 events to encourage children, youth, families, elite athletes and seniors from all areas to participate in outside play and recreation.
The brand new website is packed with new and improved activities to get involved with throughout the month. From canoeing try-out days, mountain biking lessons, Bibbulmun Track guides and caving adventures, there really is something for everyone. Many stakeholders have got creative too, with ghost walks, dragon boating and camp cooking for kids.
Take your family, invite your friends and enjoy something from the wide range of activities on their website. Go to www.outdoorsoctober.com.au for all the information and fun you can handle in the outdoors.
Post your Outdoors October adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #outdoorsoctober, #perthoutdoors and #getoutside
Kalamunda Mountain Bike Collective (KMBC)
As part of the Perth Hills Spring Festival, KMBC have organised a junior MTB ride on the Kalamunda Town trails. They'll start with a quick brush up and teaching of basic skills, followed by a cruisy ride for an hour or so on the beautiful trails in and around Kalamunda town.
Head to their website for more details - http://www.kalamundacollective.com.au/item/1005319
One of the more important documents currently under development is without doubt the Mountain Bike Guidelines, which will ultimately drive how all future mountain bike trails will be developed in this state. As such, I take a very strong personal interest in the content of this document and additionally have the fortune of representing the view of WAMBA and much of the mountain bike community, whom I have consulted to the best of my ability.
Firstly, WAMBA would like to acknowledge the ongoing and significant efforts of Parks and Wildlife (DPW), Department of Sport and Recreation, WestCycle, Local Governments, Mountain bike clubs and the individuals involved in the various project steering committees. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Mountain Bike Guidelines Working Group, facilitated by DPW, trail development protocols are now clearly defined. In parallel with this project, significant tracts of land suitable for the development of trails have also been identified through the various state and regional master plans. All of this has set a solid foundation for ongoing and future development of sustainable trails designed to meet a range of disciplines and capabilities.
Secondly, WAMBA acknowledges that the approach being taken in the development of the Murray Valley, Bramley National Park, Wellington Mills and Pemberton sites, using the process outlined in the Guidelines, is a great way to test the process and provide additional refinements as required.
WAMBA have been involved in this project and fully supports the principle of the Guidelines. However, the current growth of all disciplines in Mountain Biking in this state (and globally) has ensured that additional focus has now been placed on the contents of this document.
WAMBA have also had several representatives on the steering committees for Perth Peel and South West Master Plans and as such have been heavily involved in their development.
It is WAMBA’s view that decisions made in this document, particularly in relation to land access, will have far reaching impacts on the land made available for trail development for years to come. For this reason the comments included in this submission are focused on Table 3 on page 21 of the draft document. The comments made also consider similar concerns of many in the broader mountain bike community that WAMBA have engaged with.
One issue that this table presents is that Downhill (DH) and Freeride (FR) disciplines are treated differently to the other disciplines listed. In our opinion, this gives the impression that they are not valued as highly and in turn may disengage a significant portion of the community, contributing to the continued development of informal or unsanctioned trails.
Stating that DH and FR are `Not Compatible` with National Parks in this document will have the effect of ensuring that this remains the case for years to come. If there is a change in policy which increased that quantity of National Parks in the state, it would further reduce the land accessible to these disciplines.
WAMBA is not aware of any empirical evidence that suggests that DH or FR disciplines carry any additional risk to the environment. On this basis, it is our position that their compatibility with land tenures is equal to any other discipline of mountain biking. From a practical perspective, these trails have a much smaller footprint than Cross Country and All Mountain trails and can be built sustainably with minimal impact on the natural environment, using the tools described in the Guidelines.
In summary, the Guidelines outline a detailed and very thorough process for developing sustainable trails. The techniques described should allow trail types suited to any discipline to be built on any land type. WAMBA believe this is the greatest value in having the Mountain Bike Guidelines available to use. Restricting the application of the techniques described to only certain disciplines of mountain biking may undermine the value of the document.
WAMBA requests that the restrictions on disciplines be removed from the document. Instead, we ask that trail opportunities are considered in their own right, using the processes, tools and techniques described in the Guidelines, regardless of the discipline.
Chairperson of the Trails Access Management Council - WAMBA
The Department of Parks and Wildlife have announced that the public consultation period for comment on the Western Australian Mountain Bike Management Guidelines will now close 5pm on Wednesday 30th September 2015.
Mountain Biking is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in WA, and this document will provide the framework required to support both the mountain bike community and land managers in developing high quality new trails to meet this significant demand.
The primary aim of the WA Mountain Bike Management Guidelines is to provide a well-defined framework to support the local mountain bike community and land managers develop trails that:
Download the Western Australian Mountain Bike Management Guidelines consultation draft at http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/connect/mountain-bike-guidelines-draft
Interested organisations and individuals are invited to comment through the survey at http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/connect/mountain-bike-guidelines-draft
Today the Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Honourable Mia Davies, announced a $450,000 funding agreement with WestCycle for the implementation of the Western Australian Mountain Bike Strategy, which was launched in June. This will enable WestCycle and WAMBA to significantly progress mountain biking across the State with a focus on increased participation, tourism and marketing, which will ultimately lead to more trails on the ground.
WAMBA said the State Government funding will support the continued growth of mountain biking in Western Australia.
"This is a result of a strong partnership between the mountain bike community and government stakeholders. WAMBA is now just one of many groups in the state who see the value that mountain biking brings to the wider community, and we are excited to be a key stakeholder in the WA Mountain Bike Strategy Implementation Steering Group, WAMBA President, Louise Wallace said."
WAMBA has also been a key stakeholder in the recruitment of a full time Mountain Bike Project Manager, who will drive the implementation of the strategy. A Steering Group will be formed to oversee the plan in the coming weeks, which will include representatives from WAMBA, WestCycle, Department of Sport and Recreation, Department of Parks and Wildlife, and Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA).
We are extremely grateful for the support the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mia Davies MLA and the Department of Sport and Recreation consistently provide to mountain biking.
And on another note, WA mountain biking has been represented on the world stage this weekend, with three athletes - Sam Hill (downhill), Jordan Prochyra (downhill) and Reece Tucknott (cross country), competing in the UCI world championships in Andorra.
Photos: Left - Louise Wallace (WAMBA President), Jodie Stembridge (Westcycle Interim Mountain Bike Manager), Matt Fulton (Westcycle CEO), Sarah Smith (Westcycle outgoing Mountain Bike Development Officer) with Mia Davis MLA
Right - Mia Davis MLA talks with Louise Wallace and Nerys Eddy (female junior downhill).
Head to the Results page (located under "State Series") for the full results.
Photographer: Kathy Carruthers