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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
General Climbing Discussion
Recommended Actions "The Pines"
· Limit the number of campsites to reduce erosion and impacts to surrounding environment.
· Undertake works to ‘bench’ and delineate campsites.
· Only allow camping on marked sites.
· Provide for a maximum of 400 campers.
· Introduce an on-line booking system for campsite reservations to manage the use of the Park during peak seasons and control visitor numbers – more specifically on long weekends,
summer holidays and the Easter holidays.
· Extend the ban on open fires from November – April. Solid fuel stoves to be utilised year round.
- closure of Yellow Gums camping area
I don't like some of these. What next?
I don't see the development as all bad.
Last time I was at Araps the campground was worse for wear. There definately needs to be a new system in place if we want "the pines" to last til 2010 at this rate.
400 campers is a lot. I can't see that this would limit the amount of campers there at any one time (except Easter and long weekends perhaps?)
I don't think jumping up and down saying "change is for the bad, what next?!". In this case change needs to be made and it needs to be made now, not in 5 years time. Even if for the next few years rules are strict and limit where we camp isn't it the best for the future of the pines?
The erosion at the campsite is quite obvious, something needs to be done. We can't carry on using the park like we have, new sustainable camping and walking needs to be in place. The amount of tracks from the pines to the crags is rediculous. Just seeing an aerial shot from x amount of years ago compared to now, is quite alarming.The character of the pines will be the same as long as climbers are still camping there and aren't limited in the number of nights they stay.
It did annoy me at the time that $50000 was being spent to find out stuff that Parks could have found out by chatting to locals, climbers and park rangers - especially as it would have paid for a lot of track work, more composting loos, extra water tanks ...
But, despite that annoyance, they have basically come up with the sensible conclusion - to manage existing facilities to limit environmental damage. Plus a few other ideas that others before them have suggested, eg the rail trail. No prizes to them for originality but it's not bad. The worst possible scenario out of it is if they envision a Buffalo style camping area.
I'm not sure why they are fussed about stabilising the pines - it is after all a weedy, compacted camping area. In the long term, I'd be happy to see it temporarily closed and revegetated as the pines are rapidly thinning out, and there would need to be some provision of alternative camping to do that. I think the revegetation on the north campground area is fantastic - it's so much better than it was in the early 90s. Some work to look after that area would be good. Reveg the yellow gums is also good, but that's a pretty popular camp area (although other than the big pines, it's a desolate wasteland) and closing that will put more pressure on the north campground. A picnic area with view of the rock is a kindof nice idea though, the current picnic shelter has fine view of, um, the road ... the phonebox ...
The mount does get crowded occasionally, but campers overflowing into day visitor areas? I didn't notice people camping by the toilets or the picnic shelter this weekend. And in all honesty, how often do we get more than the 5-600 people they are looking at limiting camping to? Twice a year? does anyone know what private land they are hoping to provide more camping on?
No campfires! Great plan! It might not be popular but really campfires are a waste of resources ... if you're cold, put more clothes on, pow wow in someone's tent - it's much more efficient. No trees are burnt, no carbon released to the atmosphere, no smoke on your clothes and pollutants in your lungs. I wouldn't be such a campfire nazi if people had minimalist fires used for cooking, but generally, they don't.
A walking trail to Campbell's kingdom? It might suddenly become a popular crag! Maybe you should put it in the guide Simey, there'll be a superhighway to it ...
Bureaucracy is a terribly painful thing, but if this costly old report results in some funding to reveg, stabilise paths and improved camping we could (in other 20 years at the rate things go) end up with some beautiful native veg camping areas that provide shelter from the howling gales that rip through the pines, with some shelter and tables with views of the bluffs, minimal, stabilised tracks and improved vegetation around them. we will have to work with Parks to avoid it turning into caravan park style thing, and make sure they don't just dive into providing tourist facilities at the lookouts and forget about climber use areas. After all, the Nati urban design consultancy seemed to end up with not much more happening then changing the intersection of jory and main street ...
definately don't like the idea of an online booking system. I assume this would only work with numbered sites - i.e you book and pay on line, then get a recipt to print out with a site number - so it would be up to you to turf any one else of that site if you found it occupied? I can't see how it would work otherwise...
This may be seen as a way of ensuring camping is paid for -- so we should make sure we pay the honesty camping fee..
To a large extent, i think numbers control themeselves. When places get crowded, people tend to look for other places to go.. The general size of the campground and the number of toilets has an effect. If they build an overflow camping ground, then there is risk they are escalting the enviornmetal impact by climbers.
But 400 seems a lot of people to me. I would not want to be queing for a climb or a toliet if that many people are around. I recall one June weekend with 1 other tent..
I doubt there were 400 there at easter.So if they want to limit it to this number, they don't really need to do anything, since its not at that level now, and natural crowd avoiding behaviour means it probably never will....
Online booking is used at Frog. They have x amount of number camp sites and more that are un-numbered. So if you haven't accessed the online booking you can still rock up and camp in the un-numbered sites and pay when you get there
Don't think it worked as planned though. Minor problems with staying longer than originally booked, and being in a number site. On weekends it seemed they didn't have enough sites and campers spilled off the "campsites". Campers on numbered sites not leaving til late afternoon, and online booked campers wanting to pitch a tent on their occupied site.
In saying that I don't think that it would be neccesary for Araps if they are limiting? it to 400 campers? That would mean they would need 400 campsites? Can't see it. Scrap the online booking system as it's not like you wont get a campsite.. It would only be necessary if there were liimited sites available. Just pay your fees...
On 27/03/2008 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 27/03/2008 Access T wrote:
>>The findings of the Mt Arapiles Feasability Study are now available.
>>To view: http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources/ms_0250.pdf
>Many thanks for the link Access T.
Does anyone have a copy of this? This link doesnt work and a quick search doesnt net it.
Hi I tracked a copy of this pdf down (good old wayback machine). Its about 480 kb and Im not certain I can load it here. PM me if anyone wants a look.
edit - found my webspace password - here's a link to it : http://www.users.on.net/~freemans/arapiles/ms_0250.pdf
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