filed under: user management
A case study from John Forrest National Park, Western Australia
This report addresses mountain biking as a recreational activity by examining styles of riding and the corresponding demands of riders. It also identifies the major impacts of mountain biking and explores potential management techniques for developing sustainable mountain biking activities in natural areas.
A literature review was conducted into the biophysical and social impacts of mountain biking in Australia and around the world. It provides the basis for an impact assessment method that could be applied to mountain biking in natural areas. Mountain biking is increasing in popularity in Australia and this is adding to the demand for more space in natural areas for recreational activities. Mountain biking can impact on the environment but the extent of the activity is not fully understood. This situation constitutes a problem for natural area managers, as impact information is needed to ensure mountain biking in natural and protected areas is sustainable. This report addresses mountain biking as a recreational activity looking at the styles of riding and the corresponding demands of riders. It also identifies the major impacts of mountain biking and potential management techniques for developing sustainable mountain biking activities.
A rapid assessment tool, using GPS and GIS, was developed to quantify the effects of mountain biking in natural areas and tested in John Forrest National Park, where mountain bike created informal trails and modifications to existing trail systems is acknowledged as a problem by Park management. This assessment tool can effectively quantify the actual area impacted by the creation of mountain bike specific informal trails and associated trail modifications. It also provides management with informative and interpretive maps of the impacted area.
Published June 01, 2009
This synthesis is intended to establish a baseline of the current state of knowledge and practice and to serve as a guide for trail managers and researchers.
This study offers direction for future studies on mountain bike riding, including: characteristics of mountain bike riders and their use patterns, identification of resource degradation problems, identification and resolution of conflict issues, wilderness trespass issues, partnership issues, communication issues, and testing of management strategies related to mountain bike use.
This guidebook can be used to assist in successfully planning, designing, and constructing mountain bike trail systems, while keeping in mind that user issues must be addressed at every stage of development.
This guidance has been created to help mountain bikers and land managers understand different perspectives on this issue, in the context of the Scottish access rights, and to suggest ways in which they can work together and try where possible to find solutions.