Author Topic: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013  (Read 3142 times)

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Offline Alistair

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SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« on: August 13, 2013, 11:02:39 AM »
I thought I would just post up an update for members. You are welcome to PM me if you want anymore detail, but hopefully people realise we have to balance the natural right for members to know the club's activities, whilst also being respectful to negotiations with Parks Victoria who have engaged with us positively throughout. No-one on the committee wants to put up barriers to what we have achieved, but we do not find it acceptable that we could be alleged to be liable as volunteers (which is what happened after a few ambulances came to the park, allegedly through incidents on Aneurysm). If people are frustrated that the park is currently going to the dogs, then it only underlines the value of LDTR as an organisation. Parks sometimes close trails when they get wet and will assist LDTR to deliver materials when required, but fundamentally there is no other resource for MTB at Lysterfield. I guess you could argue that we just crack on, buts its just not acceptable to wear that risk simply so we can ride a decent trail at our own park.

The nub of the issue is that LDTR always thought that volunteers were covered by PV's liability insurance when building trails, it was understood that this was the purpose of the form you all sign on build days. In fact this form does cover all activities during the build, but not the features left after we leave. It would be natural to assume that the landowner immediately becomes responsible for any features since it was a sanctioned activity, but apparently not: in summary we were informed that there are "approved" and "unapproved" works/features. If its "approved" then liability immediately transfers to PV, if its "unapproved" then it doesn't. So you would think that there would need to be a pretty good process for recording this and assessing whats approved and whats not, but there isn't.

Shortly before this, the club became aware of how MTB is managed at the You Yangs. We haven't really declared the full extent of what they do there until now , but lets just say its a model of best practice. They have strategies going forward several years, risk management processes, officially adopted IMBA classifications, trail audits - you name it, all documented. So as far as we are aware this liability issue does not exist at the You Yangs.  The other week at the YY AGM we learnt that they have a dedicated MTB  PV ranger too. Now , by Parks Victoria's own figures there are many more MTB users at Lysterfield than You Yangs. So if you wonder why the You Yangs is such a great venue , it is no accident. We say good luck to them, obviously (everyone loves riding there!); but you start asking questions about our own situation. 

Our main meeting occurred between two of the committee and PV in early June. At this stage  LDTR offered two immediate solutions to the issue of liability: 1) PV could be represented at trailbuilds and have final approval (or otherwise) on all features on the day  2) PV accept that all features and works completed by LDTR are automatically approved  through being allowed on a sanctioned trailbuild and thereafter complete audits as they see fit. Neither one of these solutions was acceptable on the day. This all opened a can of worms that has been difficult to resolve frankly. There were a number of actions that fell out of the meeting for both LDTR and PV, most of which have been resolved. However, the most crucial one, of why we have an example of mtb best practice at one PV venue and why can't these processes be used at another park 100km East has not been answered (hopefully it will be at some point). The club's position throughout this period has been the process of management of MTB facilities should not be a matter of discretion at every single Park, rather it is better to adopt an existing model that has been proven to work within the PV Governance and State legislative framework.

Since that first meeting we have sought to get unambiguous assurances in writing from PV. We hope to receive one of those shortly and thereafter resolve the remaining issues in  partnership with PV. Those of you who attended the AGM will recall that Chris Hardman (PV Melbourne Regional Director and keen MTBer) said he supported the development of Lysterfield MTB , so we have reasons to be positive, but it hasn't been easy. The recently released Guidelines for MTB on Public Land have been a step in the right direction, but have not helped our situation. The section on liability refers out to "external guidance" and there is no endorsement of any particular IMBA guidelines or acceptable trail feature designs, whats "maintenance" etc etc

 I hope this summary enables you to understand the current position a little more and the committee encourage Lysterfield  MTB users, whether  members or not, to cease any trail building activities. If you choose to do so anyway then it is completely at your own risk (even if you are just digging drains). Everyone has the best of intentions for the Park , but none of us want to see a return to the old days when illegal works were appearing all over the place. This recommenced pretty quickly after LDTR ceased building.

Offline blackshw

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 11:18:56 AM »
Thanks for the update Alistair. Fantastic update on the current situation and efforts to come to a sustainable  solution.good luck with the continuing negotiations. Hopefully we will hear some good news soon.

Offline Alistair

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 12:54:16 PM »
Thanks. I just received something official from PV, so expect some more news soon.

Offline Roger Rabbit

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 01:31:36 PM »
Maybe moving forward we need to have trail maintenance days and trail build days.

Maintenance would cover items like drainage, closing illegal tracks etc. wouldn't require notification to riders as the standard tracks are still the same.

Builds would cover additional features added to course. This could then allow PV to advertise that such changes have been made to tracks. Riders who may ride every week but be unaware of additional features added would then have sufficient warning

Offline Vaughn

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 04:52:39 PM »
Thanks for the update Alistair fingers crossed that all the stakeholders involved can come to a solution that will benefit  everyone that uses the park
If you don't get hurt once in a while, you're not trying hard enough.

Offline cam229

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 05:56:31 PM »
Thanks for the update Alistair.

Its amazing how quickly the trails fall into dis-repair when there is no structured maintenance regime.

Same goes for the short cut lines on some of the trails, have been placing branches across some of the newly formed tracks where I have been able to.

Cam.

Offline Alistair

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 09:00:12 AM »
Maybe moving forward we need to have trail maintenance days and trail build days.

Maintenance would cover items like drainage, closing illegal tracks etc. wouldn't require notification to riders as the standard tracks are still the same.

Builds would cover additional features added to course. This could then allow PV to advertise that such changes have been made to tracks. Riders who may ride every week but be unaware of additional features added would then have sufficient warning

Hi Roger,
That is essentially what we have done by confirming that all trails as they currently stand are accepted as PV assets (only the newer trails were under any doubt) and also confirming a common understanding of what constitutes "maintenance". Adding TTFs to existing trails is ok "with Approval" (details tbc) and completely new trails are probably off the cards for this year. However, we have commitment from PV for an official MTB strategy for the park, so they came through for us on that. Sometimes we ask why it is worth being in this club; to me it is this sort of thing that makes the difference. We are advocating successfully for the longer term whilst also sorting out the short term issues, before ldtr none of this happened.
Cheers
Alistair

Offline MurcyMTB

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 10:59:09 AM »

Its amazing how quickly the trails fall into dis-repair when there is no structured maintenance regime.

Cam.


you're not wrong - we rode last night and there's a heap of new ruts in aneurysm that wasn't there two weeks ago. made for some hairy night riding.. :)

Offline Vaughn

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 06:07:21 PM »
Any news? I'm keen to move some dirt   :P
If you don't get hurt once in a while, you're not trying hard enough.

Offline Alistair

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2013, 07:47:05 PM »
We are meeting the ranger this weekend. The club put up a list of works, so we will be agreeing some sort of schedule with him at that point. Also, PV have some forms that need to be filled out before volunteer groups can do anything in the park in a given FY.   

We have talked about doing the first build in early September. Hopefully some dates will be posted up next week if all goes well on saturday.

Offline Vaughn

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 10:23:31 PM »
Awesome news.  ;D
If you don't get hurt once in a while, you're not trying hard enough.

Offline lard

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Re: SUSPENDED TRAIL BUILDS UPDATE AUGUST 2013
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 10:38:25 PM »
Thanks Al, I'm looking forward to some more shovelling as well.,

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