3. Supply (the Resources of the Region)

3.1 The Department of Conservation's Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) database provides a land classification system which will be useful in the implementation of policy. Lands within the Region which are popular for mountain biking occupy urban fringe, rural, back-country and coastal environments. The remote environments of the Region are, and will continue to remain largely inaccessible on mountain bikes.

3.2 The Department of Conservation typically manages lands in the back-country and remote parts of the Spectrum.

3.3 The Regional Council typically manages lands in the middle part of the Spectrum, including urban fringe, rural and back-country environments. Most of these lands are in the vicinity of the Wellington metropolitan area though the Council also manages long stretches of river in the Kapiti Coast District and in the Wairarapa.

3.4 Territorial authorities typically manage urban and urban fringe environments, including most of the urban fringe areas currently available for recreation and accessible on mountain bikes.

3.5 The Region has an extensive coastline and a range of coastal environments, though only relatively small sections are managed for public use and available for mountain biking.

3.6 The opportunities for mountain biking, and outdoor recreation in general, will reach their full potential only when a wide range of environments, or settings are available for public enjoyment in a range of geographical locations within the Region, and serviced with an appropriate range of facilities (trails, toilets, information ....) to meet the needs of the visiting public. (This statement equally applies to other outdoor recreation activities.)

3.7 Access to rural, coastal and river environments require improvement to enhance the existing range of lands available for recreation. The implementation of the proposed Regional Coastal Trail and the ongoing work of the Regional Council along some of the Region's major rivers will lead to better access within these environments.

3.8 The public have the use of approximately 300 kilometres of tracks, old logging roads and service roads in areas administered by the Regional Council. Fifty-five kilometres of these tracks are currently closed to mountain bikers. The closed tracks are mostly tramping and walking tracks through bush or coastal scrub, within all ROS classes from urban fringe to back country walk-in. The closed tracks vary in width from less than one metre and up to two metres wide, and have an average slope from 0.5 to 11 degrees.

3.9 The maintenance and updating of the ROS database will be helpful in broad-scale planning for the provision of an integrated trail infrastructure. The important distinction between motorised and non-motorised forms of recreation justify a reconsideration of the name back country walk-in, which implies only one activity. Back country non-motorised would be a more appropriate label which would reflect the diversifying nature of back country recreation.

3.10 A track database for Regional Council lands has been initiated as part of the current work. This database will need to be completed before policies arising from this work can be implemented by the Regional Council. Incorporation of the database on Geographical Information Systems will provide an ideal resource for ongoing planning and management of a trail infrastructure.

Goal

Areas and tracks available for mountain biking cover a wide range of suitable environments within the geography of the Region.

Actions

Provide environmentally sustainable riding opportunities complementary to the purpose for which each area is managed (General).

Develop over time an integrated regional track system, utilising the Region's potential and the resources of each agency (General).

Utilise the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum as one of the tools for classifying and managing mountain biking opportunities (General).

Recognise the important differences between motorised and non-motorised forms of recreation. (General.)

Develop skills and standards in the planning design and management of multiple use trails (General).

Provide a range of riding opportunities within the land resources of the Regional Council (WRC).

Work with other agencies to provide a range of complementary riding opportunities (WRC).

Develop and maintain a database on tracks within Regional Council lands and encourage other agencies to develop similar databases (WRC).