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Mountain bike activity in natural areas: impacts, assessment and implications for management: a case study from John Forrest National Park, Western Australia

Davies, C. and Newsome, D. (2009) Mountain bike activity in natural areas: impacts, assessment and implications for management: a case study from John Forrest National Park, Western Australia. CRC for Sustainable Tourism, Gold Coast, Queensland.

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    Abstract

    An exploratory literature review was conducted into the biophysical and social impacts of mountain biking in Australia and around the world. This review provided 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 (Goeft & Alder, 2001, Faulks, Richtie & Fluker 2007, Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport 2006, CALM 2007). Mountain biking can have negative impacts on the natural environment but the extent and significance of impacts is not fully understood (Goeft & Alder 2001, Chiu & Kriwoken 2003, Hasenhauer 2003, Sprung 2004, White, Waskey, Brodehl & Foti 2006). This situation constitutes a problem for managers as they need impact information to ensure mountain biking in natural areas is sustainable.

    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 method of assessing mountain biking impacts has been field-tested. The study was conducted in John Forrest National Park (JFNP), a popular recreation area in the Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia. Park rangers have previously identified areas in the Park where mountain bikers have created informal trail networks and technical trail features. Such findings are recognised to be having a negative impact on the Park. A GPS and GIS assessment method was field tested in JFNP to quantify this impact and proved to be useful in quantifying areas impacted by mountain bike activities.

    Publication Type: Report
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Publisher: CRC for Sustainable Tourism
    Copyright: © CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd 2009
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2637
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