If you're one of the many cyclists who enjoy riding tracks on State Forest like Montezuma Falls, Hollybank, the Dial Ranges, the Blue Tier and the Southern Forests and you've lost track with what's happening in the forest debate lately, then it could be time to re-engage.
Forestry Tasmania have just commenced a stakeholder engagement process inviting people interested in our State Forests (now called Permanent Timber Production Zone Land) to fill in a short survey and/or register as an interested stakeholder so they can be involved in future consultation about how these forests are managed.
Given that as part of the legislative change currently going through Parliament, Forestry Tasmania will lose it's multiple-use focus, activities like Mountain Bike riding are likely to slip down the priority list, and so if you're an active or interested recreational user of State Forest it might pay to spend five minutes filling in the survey or registering as a stakeholder so that the importance of forest roads and trails to mountain bikers aren't forgotten.
The other side of what's happening through this legislative change is that many areas of State Forest, including most existing Forest Reserves, are transferring across to Parks and Wildlife. Whilst my experience in dealing with Parks and Wildlife has shown them to be very supportive of mountain biking, it's worth keeping an eye on what's happening with your local trails and if necessary making sure that the local parks staff know we're out there and using these areas.