I concur with the views of Dr Bower expressed in the CWD on Saturday 20 June ("Boffins Rubbish Proposal").
No amount of extra public money from the Orange City Council would remove the fundamental flaws in this proposal to develop Mt Canobolas State Conservation Area into a dedicated mountain biking precinct.
No environmental or cultural heritage assessment of the proposal would conceivably give it the green light.
The proposed development would destroy too much of the unique flora, fauna, geology and cultural heritage that is currently protected there.
Recent examination of widespread soil erosion on exposed areas after the 2018 fires has highlighted the vulnerability of these sub-alpine soils to any form of extra disturbance.
Cr Hamling mentioned the damage done to the Lake Canobolas bike track from recent increased usage.
As a soil scientist, I shudder to think what would happen to the vulnerable steeper slopes up on the Mountain if exposed to this level of mountain bike activity.
If the OCC wish to throw good public money away chasing windmills then let them focus their attention on more suitable bike track locations such as the many adjacent pine forests where ecological damage has already occurred.
These contain all the values the mountain biking fraternity would ever need, including elevation, landscape variety, numerous potential trails, district views and easy access, without many of the environmental costs.
The path to approval would be simpler and without controversy.
Alternatively, $500k might be better spent upgrading our roads, maintaining parks and streetscapes, or supporting those in our local community who have been doing it tough during the lockdown.
Dr Andrew Rawson
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