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Save Sparrow Hill

By bmar560 - Posted on 12 November 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Copied from rotorburn.

Those who raced the MONT and Kowalski Classic or have visited Sparrow know how good these trail networks are.
Please show your support.

"Dear fellow mountain bike nuts and Sparrow Hill fans.
The good news is always that your back tyre hasn’t gone flat overnight after your last ride.
The bad news is that time is nearly up for Sparrow.
We’ve always dreaded the thought that one day the harvesting machines will thunder into Kowen Forest and clear-fell our trees.
That’s what happens in a commercial pine forest, and that time is almost upon us.
But what if the ACT Government were to declare Sparrow Hill a recreational area? The trees that make the Sparrow tracks what they are to us could be saved.
I have written to the MLA for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury, who is also ACT Minister for Sports and Recreation, asking for his help to persuade the ACT Government to redesignate Sparrow Hill recreational. His office says they are investigating.
A senior Forestry officer, acting in good faith within the constraints of the land manager’s mandate, has offered to work with us to save the tracks. He will still take the trees, but has offered mechanical help to re-expose the tracks as the massive debris of harvesting is cleared up. And he will direct the harvesters to avoid damaging the tracks as far as possible.
Having built half of Sparrow’s 50km of tracks, I am very aware of the practical difficulties of succeeding in this task.
Notwithstanding the damage I would expect, if the tracks were recovered we would be left with bare hills exposed to freezing winter winds, rain, strong, hot summer winds, dust and broiling sun.
The intended replanting of the forest around the tracks would not see usable shade for 10 to 15 years. One can see how little shade there is at Stromlo after eight or nine years.
Hopefully, our representatives in government won’t fail to acknowledge that the community itself has created a world-class mountain biking facility that many municipalities would give a great deal to have. And without touching the public coffers.
We are the envy of visitors from far afield, and the website is getting hits from around the world.
Every mountain biker can do something to help save Sparrow Hill.
Please let Mr Rattenbury know your feelings about Sparrow and how you would like to see its future. His email address is


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