The Piney Rehabilitation Project
As many club members and riders would be aware, The Piney suffered during the last drought with a large degree of tree death across the forest and many other trees left in a poor state of health. The ongoing wet conditions have added to these impacts across the forest, making the riding a lot less enjoyable.
While an enormous effort has been made by club members to clear and maintain the tracks for riding, the current state of the forest means that the job of maintaining the tracks, particularly after each storm event, has become overwhelming. Hence, NEMTB has been in ongoing discussion with Forest Corp NSW about the issues faced within the forest. This includes the management issues which are beyond the club's abilities to resolve and the associated safety concerns.
These discussions with FCNSW have been very positive. As many people will have seen, planning for the Armidale State Forest Rehabilitation Project (https://www.forestrycorporation.com.au/operations/about-our-harvesting-operations/armidale-state-forest-rehabilitation-project) is underway with QR codes being placed at all entrances to The Piney, advising forest visitors of the planned works.
The rehab project will result in the The Piney being closed to the public during rehab work. In addition, trails and trail features are likely to be impacted to ensure the safety of forest users into the future. The club will continue to work with FCNSW to minimise these issues where-ever we can but have accepted this is necessary to improve riding conditions at The Piney. As works are undertaken we will work to review what trails need work and undertake an ongoing renewal of the trails following rehab works.
Works are likely to commence in the near future depending on staff and equipment availability and the weather but no dates have yet been set. Once something is confirmed we will let all members know.
Over the next few weeks, if you head out to The Piney for a ride or a walk, please heed any new signage advice that is in place. In particular, if signage advises The Piney is closed please use an alternate venue for your activities until the forest is reopened.
We will keep you updated as we get more information on dates and areas impacted.