TRC Recreational Trail Webinar

TRC Recreational Trail Webinar

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Good morning everyone and welcome to the trc, tourism. Trail planning and management. Webinar. Um. We'd like to welcome you all to an apologies, for that delay, um we'll get started, now. Um, we'd like to start by acknowledging, all the indigenous, peoples, of the countries that are joining us today. So, our agenda today is uh presented, to you on the screen. Um just to introduce, our, team and our panelists. Trc, tourism, which stands for tourism, recreation, conservation. Has been working in the space of trails planning and management, for, for some 20 years. And. Our team of specialists, today, myself, chris. Chris halstead, and chris rose. Work in different areas of trails planning and have worked extensively, across, australia. New zealand, and beyond, in. On trails planning. Many of us have got a, background in national parks and have been involved in. Trail planning with national parks. We've worked on many of the well-known. Uh trails, around, australia, and new zealand. Um. Trails, such as the. Milford, the larapinta. The overland, track. From strategic. Through to on ground planning, so, looking at the various. Aspects, of. Trail planning. And in the early days when trc, was working, in the trail space. Mountain biking was not such a trend as it is now today and in fact there was. There was little mountain biking, and. Uh, often it was seen as something that was quite a negative, experience. So we've seen a great shift in the period of time that we've been working with trails, from. Um. What was, walking we're walking was a really strong. Activity. Through to where we we're looking at just as many people. Um riding bikes and walking and the trails necessary. For those different elements. And we're also seeing working with destinations. And seeing destinations, that can, see the real value. In. Trails. As ways to attract, visitors. So we're looking at trails from the perspective, of for the community, through to, as a real. Driver of tourism, in some destinations. So with, our agenda today, we'll. Cover a range of areas. Um, and we will, send to you um the the slides, after the, after the webinar, with also the questions. If you do have questions. Um you'll see the question and answer. Um section. That you can respond, send that you uh, write your questions into and we'll either respond to them there or then or else at the end of the, of the. Uh the webinar. So we have chris ord. Uh, chris. Based in victoria. And, his background, is is in, trail running, and outdoor, active, and he has plays a strong role in. The organisation, of events, associated, with, outdoor activities. We have chris halstead, based in, south australia. And chris, started his background, with national parks and has been involved, extensively. With our team in planning for a range of different trail, experiences, across australia and new zealand. And then thirdly, chris rose who's based in victoria. And, chris has a really. Strong skill set in terms of the, governance, and, management, of trials and working with. Clients. Uh to actually look at how best to look at the long-term, sustainability. Of the of the management, model for, for trials. So we'll. Work through, our. A number of slides, with the different presenters, and then we'll have the opportunity. For some questions. So. Turning to the first. Topic. What makes a good trail experience. And i think this is something that we've, thought about for. For many years, and there's a number of really important, factors. But i i have a couple of, um, i guess mantras, that i. Many people have heard me say and the first ones that. While a destination. Might have world-class. Trails. It's the combination, of trails, and the overall visitor experience. That creates a trail destination, that residents, are proud of and visitors, seek out, so it's very much about a combination, of factors. That makes a good trail experience. The first one is the environment. In which, the trail is located. It's really critical, from from a user, experience, it's important to have a range of, different, environments, you don't want to always be, walking or riding on a beach or through a forest. You want different. Terrain, different environmental, experiences. The environment. The management, of the environment, and the, ensuring, that the, trailer sustainable, within that environment. Is a really critical part of a good trail experience, as well. The infrastructure. That you provide. Obviously. Is, fit for purpose, so it may be. A gravel, trail in some situation, it might be sealed it might be a combination, of.

Rock. Boulders. And. Fiberglass, for example. Each. Element will be determined. On the actual needs of the user. And the environment, through which it's, playing and the best. Opportunity, that. That presents. The range of facilities. That's provided. That's a critical element but it's something that varies with the the type of. Trail experience, and the location, in which it is so. Looking at each trail from the point of view of what doesn't need does it need um does it need, good trail head facilities. Car parking. Toilets. All those, interpretation. So. The importance, of determining. What's fit for purpose for that, particular, trial experience. The next is maintenance. And, in terms of. It's very easy for us to get. Funding, for, for capital, works. But the maintenance, is a critical issue and a good trail experience. Is one where. That is thought of right from the start. And is looked after, right from the start, and we often will say to um, to. Trouble. Clients. Don't ever start to build your trail until you know how you're going to manage and maintain, it, because it's a really big mistake, when you actually, create a great trial experience but then you cannot. Continue, that on. Into the future. So that relates to your management, as well. Who is it that's going to be responsible, for that trial, ensure you've got that thought through. And finally the services. A good trail experience. May have needed a range of different things you may need things like shuttle services, to get people to, the other end or to, enable them to be picked up from the end of a, um. A one-way. Walk or, ride. You may, need um. Bike repair, services. Um luggage. Uh transport, services. There's a suite of different things that. You may need to provide, and all these different elements combined, together, to create a good trail experience. So thinking it through from start to finish is critical. Moving on. In terms of the. Why trails are important for destinations. There's a whole suite of reasons why. The benefits, that can be. Attained. From trails, within destinations. And economic, benefits, is the one that's. Very often thought of and they certainly do bring economic benefits particularly, in terms of, new business opportunities, bringing bringing people into towns. But there are a suite of other benefits, as well in terms of health and well-being. Um cultural benefits. Social benefits. So all these are. Really uh invaluable, and contribute, to the future, of a destination, from a trail's perspective. Next. We often think about trails.

At Different. Levels so categorizing. Them from the point of view of their. The extent to which they will, drive, visitors. To. An area or are. Provided, for local communities. And starting from the right hand side of this slope. Community, trails, are, really, uh are those that are actually. Used generally, by local, people. They'll, they'll often be managed by, volunteer, groups, or local councils. They may be part of your, transport, network. But they're something that are used on a daily basis, by, residents, within communities. If visitors, come to a town they will. Often will use them particularly if they're visiting, family and, friends. But. At the next level up is our regional trails an original trail is one where, people will travel. Potentially, two to three hours to actually do that trip, that trail. It may be known. Quite well around, a region, or indeed. Further afield. But it's a, higher level trail than your local community, trails. And at the, highest end of the spectrum, we have, national, or state. Trails and these are ones that will often be known. Um, nationwide. Um. Something like the milford, track within, new zealand, is actually. Obviously known internationally. The timber trail in new zealand, is known. Um, across the across the country. Um. The great ocean walk in. In victoria, is known. Is very well recognised. So the, the level to which you those trials are developed, and the level of the experience. Will be highest, at that national estate level. And, um. Going down that that spectrum, to the community, trails which are. Generally, a locally, based experience. So, what, makes, your great. Multi-day, trail experience, competitive. At the present time, it's a really competitive. Environment. Lots of people, lots of regions, see, having a great trail experience, as a way to really attract visitors. But there's increasing, numbers of them and and. The market, is not, is not huge so actually looking to, make your trail really competitive. If you want it to be the center of your destination. Needs some, um, clear thought and planning to move it from good to great. And some of the examples, of, some of some. Trial experiences, that we talk about as, as great, trial experiences, the overland track in tasmania. The new zealand cycle trail which includes.

Multiple, Elements. Larapinta, trail in central australia. The milford, track, and most recently, the. Derby, mountain bike, region. So what is it that's common about. Those. Um. They've each got a really strong point of difference. What it is, in terms of the environment. The experience. That makes them stand out and having a clear point of difference is really critical. They're, often they're in an existing. Um. Destination, that has a high market profile, and actually. Leveraging, that profile, through the development, of that experience. They'll be linked to complementary. Nature-based. Attractions. Products and infrastructure. They'll generally. Be have a range of accommodation. Options, for, for the users. They'll generally, avoid high volume. Nodes or trails unless that's a really critical part of the experience. And, they're generally a seamless, experience, for the user, so there's something that's, well marketed. Really accessible, in terms of bookings. And. Where the walk and cycle distance is geared to what the consumers, looking for. I'm just going to move on to, touch briefly, on. Covert, and the the. Trends that we're seeing as a result of the code situation. Because it's obviously, something that's really. Um. Hitting us all at the moment. And, for the last six months while, the. We've been. Faced by the. Pandemic. We've. Seen a significant, growth, in people. Outdoors. Many people that. You know, traditionally, were, involved in, indoor, sports, and indoor activities, have been getting out to walk, to ride. To, enjoy the environment, as much as they can. So we're seeing growing, use of trails, by communities. We're also, seeing. The growth in domestic. Tourism. Obviously, as a result of closed borders and so on, and a growth in drive tourism. And that's again. Put, seeing, more people using trails. Especially, with this growth in participation. That's happened, and now people are actually. Uh they're using trails on there when they're, on their holidays, and traveling around. We're also seeing that people who might have gone on, international. Holidays. Are. Looking to what what they can do, in terms of for example. Great walks. And booking into those, new experiences. The third area that i think is impacting, is that. Governments, seeing, infrastructure, development, as part of that economic. Opportunity. Improving. The economy, and so there is. Quite considerable, funding going into, infrastructure. Including, trails. So we're increasing, the demand but we're all. Also increasing the supply. And the challenge that we have there is to ensure that we've got the resources, to continue, to, maintain. Those. Trial. Infrastructures. Into the future. I'm going to hand over to chris ord now he's going to talk about trail planning and design. Okay trail planning and design. Uh, is i think one of the most interesting parts of the whole trail development, sort of sector, it's fun that can be creative. Uh but also it requires. A fairly comprehensive, understanding, of, three things the context.

The Desired, outcomes, and the proposed, method you know how you reach those outcomes that you're looking for, so it's like one big jigsaw, but unlike a jigsaw. You can't just reach for various pieces here and there it has to be put into a logical. Stepping stone approach. Now the diagram, you can see on the screen at the moment gives, the basic outline of that approach. Put into two distinct phases stage one is the trail planning phase. And stage, two is moving on through the design, phase. Now the planning phase, is where you're reviewing the context, so be that the landscapes, the user profile, and demand. Uh what kind of trails are actually needed, and importantly. Are the trails, feasible, from a number of perspectives, so will they meet the demand, and are they suitable. Is the environment, suitable, for the types of trails that you're planning, are they financially, sustainable. So again going back to that, long-term. Maintenance, and management, of the trail. How do they integrate into the destination. Location. And, also the other off-trail, experiences. That you can have that will integrate with the trail, and and create a larger experience. And again what is the viable management model, um importantly, stakeholder. Engagement, is absolutely, critical so make sure, that you're engaging, with and getting early buy-in from the cultural caretakers. The community. The land managers. The governance. Organizations. And of course, the user the intended user for that trail. Importantly early on in the, trail fan, planning phase. You can juggle the order of that a little bit sometimes, you do go to stakeholder, engagement. Prior to coming up with the concept because that stakeholder, engagement, can. Actually, form, what will be the trail concept. So that is context. Dependent. And again most important. Is it feasible, so you really need to get that point of if it's feasible before you move to the actual detailed design, phase. And that's where you start gathering your experts, together, to look at exactly what you're going to put on the ground. So planning. Is all about defining, your context what is the idea. What is the aim and also why is it needed you really need to have that argument about. Why is this particular, trail needed. What kind of trails are you trying to create, who is the user, it's really important to understand. Um, that, as trail use has grown, so has the fragmentation. Of the, types of users using trail and i think that's something that our industry is still catching up with about how all the different ways that people are engaging with the trail. And also understanding, the landscape, you know what's possible, but perhaps more importantly, than what's possible. What's appropriate, so you might have a landscape, that a mountain bike trail is possible, in but might not be appropriate, so it's really important to understand, you know what is appropriate. Um. And again what is what is feasible, according to the cultural considerations, as much as the landscape. Um what is you know do you have social license for and what is feasible in terms of the management. Onto the critical factors, for the design, so we've gone through the planning phase. Now we go through into the design, we've shown that a trail, or a trail network, is feasible.

Now We go to the design where we do it we approach the experts, we get them in so you want expert builders you want expert designers. And importantly, you need to consult, throughout the entire process, just because we've gone through the consultation. Process early on in the planning, doesn't mean you you suddenly stop the consultation. So it's important that you keep reverting, back, um to those stakeholders. Uh that have inputs, to a trail, design. And again just monitoring, the impacts, of what the actual build is so once you have a detailed design, revert back to what will be the impacts of the of those specific, design, factors. Ensure that you're learning from previous projects so obviously, lots of projects have come before and we'll look at a case study, study in a minute, um. That, needed to sort of draw on past projects. Take the benefits out of those, and apply them to the new context, and purpose that you're working with. Engage with experts as i said, uh, and make sure that you're, keeping to relevant uh standards, and guidelines, so around trails there's lots of. Safety guidelines, environmental, guidelines, cultural guidelines, that are set in stone, and you need to make sure that you apply the correct ones according to the trail that you're looking to build. And again governance and sustainability. Make sure that you've got an eye on that ongoing. Funding. So the case study i mentioned, the red centre adventure ride so this was a 200. Kilometer. Uh proposal, through the rugged west mcdonald, rangers in the northern territory. Um, in central australia. It was identified, as an action in the northern territory, mountain bike master plan which trc, completed in 2016.. Uh we then moved on to a concept, plan, which was done in 2018. And the northern territory government secured about 12 million dollars in funding to proceed. Again based on the fact that we'd shown, that there was a feasibility. Um behind, this particular, concept. Of a long distance, multi-day. Stage, ride, through, uh the, west mcdonald, ranges. So the trail alignment we then went into, uh, into the landscape. And looked at aligning. The actual, trail where will it go through that, landscape. Based on what we what the outcomes were. So the considerations. For the red center inventory, which were quite large when you're talking about a 200, plus kilometer. Trail. Um, that moves, through. Um, traditional, territories. It moves through a very rugged landscape. And there's lots of considerations, around that so again it's that jigsaw, that we need to sort of carefully, plan. We needed to look at the root design, the challenges of the physical landscape, and the sheer distance that we're looking at you know covering, um 200, plus kilometers, from uh, you know a to b from alice springs out to a place called mount saunder. We needed to look at what features, so along that route it actually parallels.

Something Called the lara pinter trail which is a world-renowned. Trekking trail, so we needed to make sure that we both, met with the the similar nodes so the feature nodes that the larapinta, came into but also that we stayed away from the larapinta, we didn't want to impact on the walkers experience. And we didn't want the walkers, to impact on the rider's experience it needed to be a separate but parallel, experience, through the landscape. Obviously we need to consider the cultural integrations, and i'll talk a little bit about those, in a minute, um. And essentially, what was interesting about this project was, not just the sheer scale of it but the fact that it was essentially a new experience, that we were looking to create. There were, in some respects. Similar. Aspects elsewhere around the world in new zealand and elsewhere in the world where there's multi-day, rides but. No real product that directly, reflected, it in terms of a single track multi-day, ride of that distance, through that kind of territory, around the world so we really were looking at, creating. Essentially a world first product, and, when we're coming to talk about feasibility. How do you prove something. Is going to be feasible, when it hasn't been done before, elsewhere, you know around the around the world so, we had to really look at taking elements from where where things had succeeded, elsewhere around the world and applying them to this particular, case. Study. Uh it was really important to obviously. Look at who is the user now this is a very remote trail so a little bit less about the community. Use there's a lot of trails around alice springs itself that provide. Trail and ride use for locals, and the community around other springs. But this was, very much more a tourism, product the locals will still come out and use it but again as a recreation, it nearly has a tourism, product in of its own right. So we needed to look at who the user was and that was very much we came down to a, green, skill level rider market it wasn't about hardcore mountain bikers, and big berms, and. You know jumps. That you see in some, mountain biking networks. This was very much about a journey through nature how do we get, people who are not necessarily. Skilled, on single track on a mountain bike. Through such rugged and remote terrain, so. That really dictated, what we were looking at and where we put that route. So it was a multi-day, soft adventure market that we were looking at. We had multi levels of engagement, from fully facilitated, to self-supported. So, that's looking, at, uh, one user might come along and go from end to end all by themselves. Completely, self-supported, so that would be towards the hardcore, side of things, um also we'd have a fully. Facilitated. User so somebody, where you know building on the local tourism, um, business community. They are supported, by a tour operator. And also within that supported. Operation there's you know the lux adventure, right down to the more hardcore, adventure who still wants to be supported, so we needed to look at things like safari, camps and where they would be along the route, where they are environmentally, sustainable, where they were appropriate, in terms of from a cultural perspective, as well, and the trail needed to be hop on hop off so whilst it's a 200 kilometer trail, we need to ensure that, people could engage with it in small, bite-sized, sections, and that obviously dictated, how we aligned it. Um really importantly, obviously northern territory, is you know strongly associated, with traditional. Um owner engagement. Um so we we wanted to involve them from the from the planning phase very very much from the very beginning. We, worked, with the traditional, owners, as absolute, partners and we wanted to encourage that sense of custodianship. That we weren't just coming in and putting in a tourism trail that this was something that they could be proud of, um, that it was a tool for empowerment, and sharing of their culture. And importantly. A. Way in a means that we could sort of build practical, skills, employment. And business opportunities. For the traditional, community, there so, one important thing we engaged with uh with this particular program was getting trainees, to come out on the trails with us. And help us actually align it you know it's, their country they understand, the country.

Um And so we trained them up in terms of being. I guess trail assessors. And also with a long-term, view to how can they get involved with trail maintenance how can they get involved, with the tourism, side of things, um and how can they also get involved with even things like you know bike. Maintenance, you know back in our springs. So. To make sure that they're engaged, with that long-term, feasibility, in terms of employment, and being involved with the trail. Most importantly when we're looking at developing the red centre of venture trailer it was about protecting the natural and cultural, values so both of those are at the heart of all trail experiences. If you don't protect the environment, and and the cultural assets that, surround that environment. Um then you're really doing harm to your own products so at every step, we looked at protecting, the natural and cultural values. And with that i'll uh hand over to speaking of protection. Chris halstead, for sustainable, trails. Yeah good good morning everyone, yeah, talking about sustainable. Trails. Today. Talking a bit about best practices. Sustainable. Trails, and uh. Have a little. Bit of a talk a bit of a case study on the kokoda, track. Which we've had, a long involvement, with and how that's a really good example of, sustainability. In trails, so, okay, so. Sustainable, trails are ecologically. Sustainable, and economically. Viable. What that means at all levels, trails should make a significant. Contribution. To ecosystem, health and community, livelihoods, and well-being. When we're designing, trials, we, we don't just look at the trail surface we look at uh, the ecosystem. Health and the opportunities. To, enrich. Eco. Ecosystem, health and biodiversity. Alongside, the trial that includes. Things such as. Restoration. Rehabilitation. And. And revegetation. Around the trial corridor, that's a, really important, thing. And sustainability. Is more than just. Building trails that hold together, as, traditionally, we talk about when we talk about sustainability. Sustainable, trails around the future. Delivered, through a landscape, and community, approach, so. Yeah trails are valued and supported by the community. In which they're located, so. If trails are popular. They provide a benefit. Uh they will last and be supported. So. Sustainable, trials. Can contribute, to economic return, health and fitness, community, pride and contribute to urban and regional ecology. One of the things we've been, involved with lately, is particularly with local government trials, where. Health and well-being, are an important part of. Future growth in communities, so, a lot of trials, we're, developing. For. People that might not often use trails, they might. Now get involved there might be people with disabilities. Or the aging, population. Developing, trials that people are comfortable, on and people will. Get involved with so. Yeah so it's about. In. Sustainable, trials should be providing, a return. To communities. Providing, health, and also providing, pride to communities, so, they're sustained, they're supported by the community, that's the kind of thing we're talking about here. So how do we get there. Um. Trail design puts the trail user at the centre of the design, process, and you would have heard that already you'll hear that all the way through these, this presentation. That. Clearly that the user is is is. The center of the design, process so we're going to consider the user. The economic, sustainability. Of trials, is, is reliant on effective trail design construction. Management. And maintenance. And, when we when we design trails sustainable, trails don't necessarily, require. Expensive. Infrastructure. You're going to make the most of the natural features of an area and if you look at the center photograph, there on the wine glass.

Trail. In tasmania. That's a really good example of integrating. The the local materials. And the nature of the site into the trail experience. Without, the use for, expensive. Bridges, infrastructure, and built structure. So plan the route so that you need, the, the need for infrastructure, such as bridges switchbacks. Retaining, walls is minimized. And, chris talked about the red center adventure, ride so the work we did on the red center adventure ride, looked at utilizing. The existing materials, there's plenty of rocks out there in the west mcdonnell, ranges as you'd imagine. And the materials, are generally, right and, and good but if you. Use the local materials. Try to minimize the amount of. Infrastructure, you build you bring in. It provides. It's good for the economy, and it's, uh good for maintenance, as well you're, limiting your maintenance. So you reduce your visual and environmental, impacts, also mean a cheaper trail to build and maintain. And and as we talked about with the red centre adventure ride, 200. That's a very expensive, trail to maintain. Unless you. Um. Build it, with that in mind. Um. The. Typical, things about trials, that traditionally, weigh is resisting, erosion through proper design construction, and maintenance and maintenance, and allowing it to blend into the surrounding, area. It's it's not the purpose of today to do a master class in trail building and construction, but there's some. Clear techniques, that have been designed over many many years, and there's a lot of good information, available, how to actually. Build a sustainable. Trial. But i always think um. But, it was when i was preparing this i just. Provided, at least a dozen points. I'm not going to go through those at the moment but i think probably one of the the first ones, the important ones is. Do everything you can to keep the water off the tread that's off the track. And the users on it, obviously we've, got to work to stop erosion, and water is one of the biggest killers of erosion, through great reversals. And contour trails. And gradients, a whole bunch of techniques, which. Are really important. But keeping users, on on the trail as well. Contributes, to the sustainability. Of the trail. You do that by providing, well a really good experience. Having some good anchors on the trail, good places for people to look at, and and consider. The width of the trail those kind of conditions, when you're designing, a trailer, but.

People Are going to be wanting to walking to a breast or is it a single track kind of a trail. Those are the kinds of things you need to consider. And, trail planners professional, trail builds, and trail communities, place great focus on understanding, the needs of the trial users. Within australia, here we've got some, some some good. Systems we've got the. Walking track, grading, system, we've got the mountain bike trail difficulty, rating systems. These are designed. To. Coordinate, and link the the trail user to the type of trail that you're planning. The reason i'm bringing, this up it's important, because you do that, you link the trail you design the trail you build the trail, for the users as, we keep, saying. But also the maintenance of the trail the trails need to be maintained. To the original design, and to the users. At times we're seeing particularly maybe with mountain biking where. Trails, are, designed to the mountain bike trail, difficulty, rating system which. Green, is the easy trail. Blue are the intermediate, trails, and black are the, the more difficult, trails. But if your maintenance, isn't isn't up to scratch. Your green trail can start morphing into an intermediate. Trail or your intermediate, trail can start morphing, into, a black trail which can cause, problems for comfort, for users. And then you've got issues with safety and all sorts of things but it an. Impact on the experience, so, that's about sustainability. Getting it right from the start, getting, the right link with the right users. And then the maintenance. To follow. So, in summary put the trail in the right place. And ensure trials are fun, fit for purpose. And sit within, the very best sustainable, trail corridor, when you're developing, sustainable, trails. I'll, move on now to talk about. The kokoda. Track experience. When we talk about sustainable, trails. We've called this the reality, because, out there, on the kokoda, track it's reality. It's reality for the people that live along the track. They are looking for benefits, they're looking for a future for their kids. They're looking to protect, the land that they love for their. With the biodiversity. And the environment. And yeah, as i probably mentioned they're looking for livelihoods, as well for a future. So that's all about all the things we talk about. With sustainability. So out there on the kokoda, track. Um. I've had, sort of 11 years experience. With the kokoda, track with trc. And previously, in another life. And i've. Seen, the changes, in. The trekking, industry, over there and some of the issues that that have. Arisen, but, we'll just talk, through i've. Got a few questions that i'll answer for you and we'll. Start to, develop the picture for the kokoda, track so the kokoda, track, who lives out there on the track well. The traditional, landowners, live out there on the track there's the kawari's. The biagis, and the orecavo. People. They live out there they work in their gardens, they work as trekkers. As guides for trekkers. Porters for trekkers. And they sell a few bits and pieces and they have guest houses and all that sort of things out on the track. So, when things are going well. Pre-covert. Times, and, other, disasters, that have happened on the track or whatever.

There's A reasonable, return, for the people out on the. Track. So what does the track traverse. Well it traverses, the owens stanley ranges so if you, if you're in, in your mind's eye you look at a map of uh. Papua new guinea, it's sort of to the north east of port moresby. So it runs through the owens stanley ranges, up to about 4 000 meters mount victoria's. The highest point. Uh on the kokoda, track and then it. Arrives at kokoda, which is. Uh, sort of the end of the, the actual. The, the trekking part of the track. It includes, some. Forests and swamps. Uh. Dense forests fantastic, forests. Orchids, and. Tree kangaroos, and all the kind of things. Bird of paris all the kind of things you'd expect on a fantastic, uh. Png, trek. It's got swamps, as well, you walk through the swamps, it's got rivers, high flowing rivers as you can see on the photograph, there. It's got steep, long ascents which is a bit of a feature of the track one of the things. Certainly where i come in from in south australia you don't generally get uh, a thousand, two thousand meter, inc. Ascents. And it's got descents. You go up a hill then you've got to go to the other side. Often with, exposed, clay soils. And. Erosion, and all those sort of things. So who are the users of the track well the traditional, landowners, have been using the track for thousands of years for. Uh, to walk between the villages. Uh, and. To get to their gardens, and for trade. There's a lot of people moving up and down the track there's a lot of people migrating, a lot of the, the, highland, people. Are migrating, to port, moresby, at the moment so that they use the track. Um. Mostly it's australians, that. Go trekking, on the track and experience, you, looking for the australian, second world war heritage. Who benefits, from the trap, well the principal landowners, benefit from the track from the resources. The track. Corridor, provides. In recent years they've had collectively, made decisions, about the resources, because there's a lot of gold, a lot of copper. A lot of forests, up there. We've seen some of the impact. On the forests. And. It's questionable, sometimes, of the return and the benefits. To the people from. The, forestry. But. Some years ago. There was a. People had a choice. They would could choose mining, in. For copper and gold, on a part of the kokoda, track but there's 20. 20 different villages. 20 landowner, groups up there and 19 out of 20, decided, that. No we don't, we don't want mining. It doesn't fit with the future for our kids and everything else sure it's a short-term. Short-term, return. But we, they supported, the tracking so the trekking has been supported. Um. So, um. So what the landowners. Have decided, that they, they seek the benefit, from, the trekking, through that's uh. Trekking, permit fees. Through. Guest house, rental. Through, providing, guides and porters. And, as i said before the trekking fees that come through the kokoda, track authority, which is the. Managing, authority. Um. And also the australian, government, and the png government contribute, quite a bit to the communities, up along the track. Uh australians, benefit by having a second world war heritage, protected. Maintained. And accessible. And, within that as i sort of mentioned a bit before. What the kind of trekking experience. That trekkers are looking for and the trekking companies are looking for is to provide something that's. A bit reminiscent, or a bit likely, like like the world war ii experience, so. Tough. Crossing the creeks on traditional, bridges. Uh getting a bit muddy. And getting a bit, a few leeches, and really. Having a tough. Uh, experience, out there. Um. And, but that's sometimes, in it could can be in, conflict, in, with what the, traditional, owners and the traditional land owners are after. Um. So the kokoda, track is the, papua new guinea's, premier, tourism, land-based, tourism, experience. So, what are the issues for the track, well. It's obvious covet 19 has a significant. Impact. On png, and along the dakota, track things have stopped. No trekking. No revenue, coming back into the people from trekking so that's a significant. Problem, for people that are relying on it for their livelihoods. And the sustainability. Of their economy. Um. As i said before the australian government the png.

Png, Government are doing a really good job of contributing. And. And. Right now and evolving, and changing, for, uh the needs of the kokoda, track, people. Um. Sustainability. Across, all areas of the track, part of the work that we did last year was. As you can see on the photographs, there, was. Assisting, the local people rebuilding, some of the timber bridges across the track. This is fantastic, stuff this is really great and if you can you can have a look at the um, the video that we've we've, attached to this, on a qr, code have a look at the video, some of the work that these fellas are doing, and the women are doing, building these tracks and you can see the photo. Of that guy walking across with a log over his shoulder i'm just astounded, by, what these guys can do, and they're always doing it with a smile on their face it's just quite remarkable. Have a look at that video. Um. But. If you're building. Timberlog, bridges, across, creeks like that, every year after the. Tropical downpours. And last the last two years it's been significantly. High i've washed away the bridges. We were trying to design the bridges to make them. Uh a lot higher out of the flood heights but the flood heights just seem to get higher and higher so it's. And you look at the timber, we're using so the sustainability. Around, the. Bridge sites is, is a bit of an issue with the, forest, so. That's one of the issues. Um. The long-term. Challenges, as well to, to sustain the livelihoods. Of the people along the track. As we say they have a choice. Uh, trekking, in the trekking industry. The trial, is has been fantastic, for them, but they need to be finding, the future, for, and get their access, for their kids to go to school. And, kids to develop. The guys out there want the same things, as we do with our families we want kids to succeed. Families to succeed. Economic, benefit, at some good livelihoods. So, the options the people have to choose. For benefit. There's, a lot of, before there's a lot of support with the area becoming, a, uh, a. Future conservation. Area but the people need the benefit, need to provide the benefit and it's their land after all. And also so. The issues is to retain the, wartime, experience. For the track, and for the trekkers. Who are coming along to experience, that. So. What is the future. Um. Sustainable, future is thought with the traditional, landlords. And their livelihoods, and their benefits. As we've seen it's it's come from trekking, and, there are other benefits, that they have up there. Um. The future is. Continuing, their. Connection, with culture and and their pride that's a significant, future it's a benefit for them, they, look. Again look at that video, they're just really happy doing the stuff they know, living in their forests. Living in their gardens. But they need to, have a future, for their kids and everything else. Um. Now some. Sustainable.

Future, Around tourism, product as well the. The track the trail. Is is just a fantastic, experience, you know it's an iconic, world-class. Experience. But. It's time to look, start to evolve, and do a bit of a bit of, work on. Uh providing, some more sustainable, bridges. In a traditional, style, but also some future, new, tourism, opportunities. I think that. Start to evolve. So it's not just all about trekking there's some other opportunities, where australians, and other people from the world can look at some of the, amazing. Forests, and some of the wartime, experiences. As well. But the, important thing, is that there is, we ensure that there is a sustainable, future for the people, the landowners. The. People out there on the track, and. So they can continue, their lives with pride, and. Present, and showcase, their, wonderful, land, to the community. Okay. Thank you um. Now. Hand over to chris rose who will talk about trail management, and governments. Yeah good morning everyone, and i hope everyone's traveling well. In these difficult times. Um, trail management i'll be trying to be quick because uh we were a bit late starting, so. Uh hopefully you'll get the salient, points from this part of the presentation. Next slide please, um so, why, trial management, or governance, and, please if you're a trial manager out there and you hear the word governance, don't fall asleep, it is important. Governance, is essentially, the decision, making, framework, that you put around the management, of the trail. So. It includes, a whole lot of. Inputs, and considerations. To get the model right because every trial, and every destination, has a different set of circumstances. But some of the things that you might want to think about or that we would encourage you to think through. Before you start building, things like, the land tenure. The legal. Arrangements, that you want to have put around the trail. Who do you need to collaborate, with and who are your partners, involved, in the trail management, and construction. What skills do you want what business opportunities. Do you want. Uh how do you want the flow of benefits, from the trail, to be accounted, for and who do you want them to go to. So that's just a, snapshot, of some of the things that we would. We would encourage you to think through. Next slide please. So. The legislation. Is one of the first pieces. Of the puzzle. Now. If you're working on private land it's a completely, different set of, arrangements, that you need to take into account. But, a lot of the trials that we work with clients, on. Are on public land, whether it be in new zealand, or, in australia, or elsewhere. And the public land legislation, differs, by country, by state and so forth so. A kanga complex, uh in certainly in victoria, we're working with a couple of clients where it is very complex. And we're still working, through. The, vagaries, of old legislation.

To Try and find a solution, for. For that specific, problem. Defining, the risk is important, so, who owns the risk to the user who owns the risk. Of the trail. And importantly, the risk to the environment. And the cultural. Um. Features, that might be part of that trail. They need to be taken into account and in fact they should be first and foremost. Uh in the considerations. So one of the types of. Governance, that you might put in place. Um. First. Probably, area to look at is your non-legal. Your non-legal, types so that might include. A partnership, arrangement. It might include, a memorandum, of understanding. With. Some other partners. And particularly, where your trail might traverse. Across, multiple, tenures, so it might traverse, from, state forest. Through to crown land. Through to national park. Through to any other sort of land and it might include private land as well. So, what are you trying to achieve out of that. You're trying to achieve a great experience, what do you need to do with a great experience, you need to make sure all of the partners are aligned. You may need a binding agreement. The new zealand model. Works very well where you have trusts. Charitable, trusts, formed. That bring partners, together, around the management, of trails. In australia. We tend to move more to incorporated, associations. Or. Where the trail does traverse, through a park or a forest. Primarily. We can use, mechanisms. Under each of those acts, like leases, and licenses. And so forth. Again, it's very hard to be generic, around this. Because, each circumstance. Will be different. The next slide please thank you, i'm just drawing on an example. Um in wellington, where we worked, with. The wellington regional council, and a whole. Raft of partners, there from. Local territorial, authorities, councils. Through to national government, national government agencies, like the department, of conservation. The objective, here was to build. What was a fairly disparate, or fairly. Localized. Set of trails, into. A regional, trail, offering. That really could position, itself, not only for the local residents, but. You know in a marketplace. Where. They weren't, previously, recognized. As being. A place to go as a destination, of significance. And so. One of the things we did, with all the various, partners. Was bring them together, and form. A non-binding. Sort of agreement, utilizing, an existing. Arrangement. With the regional chief executives, forum. Where all of those various. Agencies, on the left side of the screen that you can see. Their chief executives, already met. So we formed a separate group under that or we recommended, it. And importantly. I, know there's been some questions around how you engage with the community that we'll come to in a moment, but we recommended. The time of the community, because. A, lot of the community, use these trails as their local backdoor. Recreation. And health and. Other sort of forms of. Exercise. We didn't want to lose that so the community, industry engagement, form, was really important. All the partners, threw in some, money. Uh. That, that, essentially, helped bring the framework, to life. Uh, a regional trials. Framework. Advisor, was employed. Uh and you'll see the.

The, Url, down the bottom of the screen near wellington regional trials, i won't go into too much more detail but i encourage you to have a look, at what they've been able to achieve in the last couple of years it's fantastic. And wellington, really is on the pathway to being a great. Great destination. Pun intended. Next slide please. Thank you. So, so why, why do this so. Importantly. A shared vision. Again if you're. Uh if you're working with a range of partners that may not share the vision or may have different aspirations. Starting, with this very clear vision, is a really important, part. Of. The governance or decision making model that you put in place. It has to be suitable for the destination. So there's no point putting in place a company, board for a destination, that's going to attract, a couple hundred people. Similarly, so it's got to be right sized similarly. We'd recommend. More formal structures, where you are trying to build, a destination, of scale, or a series of products, of scale. Stakeholder, engagement, i've. I've referred to. But it's important. To not lose sight, of, your locals. Your community. Because ultimately, the benefit flow from whatever you're trying to achieve. A part of that has to go to communities, they have to see that. Common standards, you know we often talk around. The notion that you don't want, to be riding down a trail, and every, several hundred meters as you move through a different lantern, you're seeing a different sign. Talking about the different regulations. And different standards, that apply. Uh it needs to be a seamless, experience, to to work in the marketplace. The beneficiaries. Need to be understood. So in this we we talk around. Things like. Will there be fees and charges, attached to the experience, and if so where will those fees and charges, go, will they go to the management of the trail the maintenance of the trail. Will they go to, uh, the government, that often puts them, funds back into the maintenance of that trial. Will i go to business will i go to the community, will there be a dividend, so all those types of things, are, part of the consideration. Around. Your. Your management, model. And of course importantly, better business opportunity, so. Business and public land management, often. Don't necessarily, work hand in hand.

We Believe it's important, particularly. When you're trying to build a signature. Product. The, business can deliver, great experiences. On, the trail as can, the trial manager. So that's just a snapshot, there of some of the, some of the benefits, of getting your governance model right. Next slide thanks. So. Just a couple of uh tips here for your consideration. When you are, looking into this. Leadership. Where it is shared across. Where the trial experience, is to be shared across multiple, tenures or multiple. Forms of. Land. Who's going to lead. Do do you elect a board do you have a leader, is there a. Natural. Fit for one organisation. Or one. One person, or one group. Importantly, managing, the risks including, environmental, and cultural risk is really critical. When we often talk about risk as trail managers, we talk around the risk to the trail user. But the environment, and cultural, risks, um, are paramount. Uh, a former key part not only in the planning but in the considerations. The management of maintenance as janet mentioned earlier maintenance, you've got to think about that at the start. And, certainly. We try to form models, where, any fees, incurred, can then be put back and reinvested. Into the trail. The standards i've talked a little bit about the benefits. The benefit flows. And importantly, the finances. So. How are you going to fund the trial development, how you're going to fund its ongoing, operation, how are you going to continue, to improve, it, there's some of the questions. That we encourage you to think. Through. I think that's the end of my formal slide so what we might do is just quickly, and i know it's 5 past 12, and many of you. May have to go. But we'll just move to a couple of questions. And there was one, uh from nick king, out of hornet hills, which i thought was a good question i might just. Ask. Perhaps. Janet to answer this one very quickly. What are the five skills, a trail manager, needs. Um, to be successful. Yeah nick is oh i knew myself. Yep. Yeah thanks for that question, nick and i see you're. Working on the haunted, or involved in haunted hills. I think there's a number of things, um. The first one is, probably, good communications. And stakeholder. Relationships. Because you're going to have a lot of. Both government, and. Non-government. Stakeholders, are involved in you in your, in your work so being able to work with them effectively. Secondly probably. Good. Contract, management, and good team management, because you'll have a, suite of different people, actually, developing, your, trail network so actually, the ability, to work with those. And allied with that will be, good financial, management, because with many projects. Um, if you if you've got effective project. Planning you'll, be able to come in on budget, but certainly that some of the variations, that come in will, will make that a challenge, for you. I think also being, able to delegate, because you're going to have, a, lot of different.

People Working towards, the. Fruition, of your of your network. Um so you're unlikely, to be the person who's actually doing the technical. Elements you're going to be working with others so i think they're probably the. Core skills you're going to need in that role, good. Luck. Thanks janet we also had a series of questions, around. Consultation. And. There was a couple of themes in this. The first was, how do we bring together, that sense of social, licence, particularly, with local communities, that might. Not be responsive. To, the trial, upgrade or development, in their area. And the second theme around that consultation. Was. Around. How do we get that social, license, and sense of support, particularly. Uh who do we engage with in the initial stages. Of, the trail planning. Chris. Halstead, i might just ask you to talk a little bit around. Uh the engagement, process, where we. Uh particularly where we're starting that planning, uh of a trail, experience. Yeah thanks chris, it's it's about. Clearly identifying. Who, the the. The stakeholders. Are when we talk about the stakeholders, we're talking about the. Obviously the users the people, that are going to benefit or be influenced, by this trial, um. Yeah it's in in. A lot of the work that we do, we get, quite close to talking to the, people that are going to be the end result, in beneficiaries. At the trail and talking to them really get an understanding, of. What the experiences. They're looking for within the area and also some of the uh, the local issues and local. Issues. Around, sustainability. And, what are the best alignments. That's that's the kind of thing we're looking at when in the consultation. Process. In the early stages, it's really, getting the intelligence. On the ground, about what's going on in the area. Uh thanks chris there's another question here which i think is probably. Important. We've talked around some of the engagement, issues, um. How often do you feel the monitoring, and evaluation. Of the visitor, experience. Is incorporated. Into the planning, process. So it's a really important, question around. Monitoring, not only, at the start of the, the uh the project, but all the way through. Um. Janet are you happy to have a go at that one as well for us. Yeah sure look it is something that's really critical it's it's important in terms of, at the start of your process to think through your, your monitoring, because, you want to know who's using your trial from the start and then you can benchmark. Um any trends. Over time and, and growth in use of the trial, but it is something that is often overlooked. There's lots of different approaches, to doing it from on ground. Physical, monitoring, through actually. Checking in on the, visitor satisfaction, with your experience. And that data, that you collect, is also really important. In terms of, if you're looking for funding. Being able to actually. Um tell the. Um the grant fund. Process. Who, who and how many, are using your trial and, potentially, the economic return you're getting as well, so actually looking at, uh what people are spending there's a whole suite of elements that are really important. Um, and it's often overlooked it is something to think about at the start of your process and build into that.

To That planning. Thanks janet there's another question here around governance, which i'll just have a quick crack at and that is. Um from anna. Is there a governance, framework, that's popular with councils, for larger trial projects, in australia. And then anna goes on to give an example where in the u.s there's a whole series of um. Components, that can be can be factored, in, the short answer ana is not, um. Many of the trail, uh, many of the trial projects the larger ones here, that are on a single, antenna, and being developed by a single agency, that agency tends to manage them by themselves, so, there's probably not a need for a for a, highly constructed. Governance, arrangement. But more recently, we've been seeing. Proposals, put forward that really maximize, the visitor experience. And and to achieve that maximizing, of the visitor experience, and minimising, of the natural and cultural impacts of the trial. That we've had to use multiple, antennas, and that's where it gets tricky, so. Again in victoria. There's a couple of examples, underway at the moment, where. We're trying to find the right mechanism, under legislation, that was written, in the 50s. 1950s. So. The government recognises, it's an issue. We're trying to help clients, work our way through it. And it's a work in progress. In new zealand. There's, a whole raft of different mechanisms. That are used. Uh, from, as i mentioned earlier trails, trusts, through to. Through to a thing called the great walks. Um. So. The short answer is there's not. Not. A model. Unfortunately. Um. It's i'm noting it's nearly quarter past 12. Janet there's a few, unanswered, questions, but i might hand back to you. Uh, to wrap up and then we will also, try i think to to get some, um general answers to some of these questions. Uh, through to. The, participants. Um. And back to you. Thank you chris, yes we will um respond, to the, um the balance of the questions that we haven't, got through. So thanks everyone, for your. For your input and for, raising, all these, interesting, questions as well, we are keen to keep the interaction, going. Um, i think many of you will have seen our ebook the recreational, trail planning design and management guidelines. That is still available, to download from our website. So for many of the things that have been. Asked today, or that we've talked about there's, quite some, further detail within. That ebook so. Please, feel free to, download that and hand it on to colleagues, and so on that. Might. Be interested. And the other thing is that, the other source of information, will be our sustainable, trials conference. Which is to be held in 2021. In alice springs. That was scheduled to be held. This year but as a result of covert. We've pushed it out to early june next year, where we believe we will actually. We're confident, that. That timing will work and we will get together. The new zealand and australian. And other. Experts that we have at our previous, two concerts. Conferences. So look thanks everybody for your participation. Please if you um get onto our website, and, make sure that you're on our, database, if you want to receive further information, about. Um, the work, that we do or, um what's coming up. And uh feel free to get in touch. Thanks again everyone for your. Participation.

2020-09-18 15:14

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