why we are being banned from hiking?

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why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby polas » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 6:02 pm

More and more often I find signs in national parks that prohibit access because the "the tracks are steep and there is a risk of injury". There is a risk of injury on any hike. This is part of hiking. I understand signs that warn you about the danger and try to deter people who are not prepared, but a total ban seems a bit excessive. It seems that in the future we will only be allowed on concrete paths with safety barriers.
Attached is a sign I saw yesterday. For the majority of hikers who go there this sign is actually meaningless as I bet they have no idea where clover hill road ends.
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby ghosta » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 6:50 pm

Parks clearly have a responibility for the safety of the public, hence close off tracks they deem pose a risk to potential users.

In doing so, they will raise the ire of a small section of the public who think THEY should be exempt from any ban because these individuals believe they have a god given right to do what they like.

Yes, sometimes I am one of them. Perhaps where sprks and lowlife are involved its more than sometimes...
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby polas » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 7:22 pm

Do they have the responsibility? A national park is a wild place. Isn't it the point of it? to protect nature and keep it intact? It is a hiker responsibility to be prepared and safe not the park. Would you like to have stone paths prepared everywhere and barriers on each lookout? Personally, I find them hideous and I want to hike in an untamed environment...
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby CBee » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 7:47 pm

Don't use the tracks. Go off-track. Seriously.
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby Nuts » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 5:42 am

polas wrote:Do they have the responsibility? A national park is a wild place. Isn't it the point of it? to protect nature and keep it intact? It is a hiker responsibility to be prepared and safe not the park. Would you like to have stone paths prepared everywhere and barriers on each lookout? Personally, I find them hideous and I want to hike in an untamed environment...


I've not seen a track closed sign like that before, with no real reason (or time-frame) given. Is there more info posted in the area?
Of course you have every right to be concerned. There may be good reasons to close but they should always be justified, we employ public servants.. nothing more.

And even parks most unquestioning fans can do a disservice in their eagerness to show support for every decision.
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby Lizzy » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 6:38 am

Is that sign at Macquarie Pass in NSW?
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby polas » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 8:41 am

it is indeed for macquarie pass in NSW.
the NP websites states this:

Closed areas: Macquarie Rivulet - Jump Rock track closed
Access to Macquarie Rivulet (also known as “Jump Rock”) is not permitted. The track is steep and eroded, and contains unstable surfaces, cliffs and drop offs.
There is a high risk of injury from falls from heights. Do not enter the closed areas of this park.

which I assume is the track that leads to "jump rock falls" (different area downstream).

there are tracks that have been closed for years just because they are eroded and the internet made them popular (like Belmore falls). People go there anyway even with rangers handing over $300 fines...
In my mind they should be marked as "go there at our own risk". Maybe with some extra penalties when you do something stupid and need a rescue but not totally banned.
It is possible that too many ppl had to be rescued from those areas and those signs are there to stop wasting government money (rescue from banned tracks is no longer free).
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby Paul » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 9:18 am

Re: Interesting Signs in the wilderness.
Postby Paul » Tue 14 Apr, 2020 8:07 pm

This one is from Canada

Reminds us that we have a "Duty Of Care" to ourselves.

It is our responsibility to remain safe.

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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby wayno » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 9:58 am

check your park laws
in NZ the govt cant restrict your access to the park except under extenuating circumstances, i volcanic eruption, and the directive has to come from the head of the dept of conservation or the minister...
they will put up signs saying "closed" but legally they have no authority to close a track and they cant stop you walking it, unless theres a health and safety issue with construction... you're free to roam anywhere in a park no matter how dangerous, so a "track closed" sign is actually against the parks laws.
teh reality is, they dont want people on the track,, usually the less experienced who dont have the relevant experience or judgement on rough tracks, so they just "close" it
i had booked for a great walk and when i got there they told me i couldnt go and they wouldnt issue my ticket because of a weather bomb that was coming> i argued with them , told them i was very experienced and could make my own judgements on risk assessment on the situation and had no issues about dealing with the weather... the rest of the people booked had to wait till the next day and sit through a lecture about bad weather, by the time they'd finished i was half way to the hut... its the parks authority playing nanny state, but the parks by and large fall outside the nanny state... but the easier tracks draw in the unwary and those who get out of their depth easily and theres a "what to do about them" problem... its a problem when the authorities start convincing people they have the right to decide for everyone and "close " tracks... its one of those few places where you are normally free to make your own mind up and choose where or if you go.. and the rest of the land you cant go there because its owned by someone else and you dont have permission... nz we dont have the default right to roam on farmers lands unless they have decided in advance they will let walkers through or they give you express permission, so access to parks is all the more important and relevant.
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby polas » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 11:10 am

thank you wayno. this is great info. I had no idea about NZ laws.

Does anyone here know about our situation in NSW (to save me from spending a day googling)? :-)
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby polas » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 11:13 am

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topi ... ing-tracks

"NPWS may close a walking track or part of a track, either permanently or temporarily, for park management or visitor safety reasons."
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby wayno » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 11:38 am

if you're "walking next to the track" you're not breaching the closed track notice
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby polas » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 11:40 am

wayno wrote:if you're "walking next to the track" you're not breaching the closed track notice


LOL. love it mate :-)
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby Nuts » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 3:08 pm

The unfortunate person you meet at the park is never gonna be the same one who decided to close the track. If you are going to go anyway then just go, these rules aren't for you :)


Nice work with the placement of that graffiti signage, give artists somewhere to vent, very cunning, seems to have done the trick :)
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby Warin » Mon 07 Jun, 2021 4:14 pm

polas wrote:https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/park-policies/walking-tracks

"NPWS may close a walking track or part of a track, either permanently or temporarily, for park management or visitor safety reasons."


They also close it .. so the people they rent it to can use it.
Number of times I have found a film crew using a NP ... with permission and payment.... fortunately they let me through between shots.
Similar things occur in state forests.
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby Xplora » Wed 09 Jun, 2021 8:18 am

polas wrote:https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/park-policies/walking-tracks

"NPWS may close a walking track or part of a track, either permanently or temporarily, for park management or visitor safety reasons."


That's right. Comes from Regulation 155 of the NSW legislation.
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Re: why we are being banned from hiking?

Postby wildwalks » Tue 10 Aug, 2021 11:32 am

The closure may not actually be about the risk to visitors (this is implied by the sign, not stated as the reason), it could be to help manage the risk to the park -- namely further erosion and disease. Yes there are other ways to manage that risk, not saying it is a good tool. But careful assuming this is just about the risk to you.

Also worth being mindful about what happens if something goes wrong whilst in a closed area.
If you are in a club or have some kind of insurance, the insurance is likely void for that trip.
If you need rescue, then the rescue will still likely to go ahead but there is a higher chance you will need to pay a rather large invoice. Even if the injury/illness is not related to the closure.

Closures suck but sometimes they are a good thing.
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