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Mountainbike tracks possible in park

BY SCOT MACKAY
Last updated 05:00 17/06/2010

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A new mountainbike trail could be formed in Fiordland after the Department of Conservation clarified concerns with the area's management plan yesterday.

The department was given reassurance by the Southland Conservation Board that it was allowed to consider applications for new tracks in Fiordland National Park.

Mountainbiking has on the past been restricted by the park's management plan to formed roads in Fiordland, with some exceptions.

However, at a conservation board meeting in Te Anau yesterday the board decided there was leeway in the plan to allow for new tracks. Board chairwoman Viv Shaw said mountainbiking had increased in popularity and the department should be allowed to consider applications for new tracks.

Te Anau department community relations spokeswoman Beth Masser said the Fiordland Trails Trust had worked with the department to form a new track in Fiordland for the past 18 months.

But the management plan was a barrier because the department was under the impression that it could not allow mountainbiking off formed roads, she said.

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- The Southland Times

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