SAFE: State Forests: Enter at Your Own Risk

In a media release today Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla (SAFE Inc) President, Heather Irwin askes "Do you enjoy walking or bike/horse riding in local State Forests? There are hidden dangers in such activities, and not the obvious ones." Ms Irwin advises "Eurobodalla is renowned for its beautiful natural environment and much publicity goes into advertising our wonderful beaches, forests, national parks, rivers and lakes. Our local council highlights its beauty regularly, promoting bushwalking and bike/horse riding trails. However, are you aware that there is hunting permitted in local State Forests? "You could be having a family picnic or a trail ride with your friends and find your peace and tranquillity rudely interrupted. Hunting is currently allowed in Mogo, Currowan, Bolaro and Shallow Crossing State Forests seven days a week, and in Buckenboura on weekends. You could come across hunters, using guns and/or bows and arrows, without warning. "Hunting permits can be applied for and approved on line, with only two days’ notice. This arrangement takes little account of the safety and leisure plans of the general public and our tourists, who are left in the dark about hunting approvals given online. "This situation adds a whole new meaning to the line from The Teddy Bears’ Picnic about (not) going down to the woods today. Apparently, bushwalking and bike/horse riding groups need to just take their chances and hope they aren’t mistaken for some poor animal in hunters’ sights. Ms Irwin expanded on her organisation's concerns "Access to each forest is determined by the Forestry Commission NSW, and can be changed at any time without notice. So how can residents and visitors confidently plan to visit a State Forest without encountering hunting?" "When promoting State Forests as part of the recreational options in Eurobodalla, perhaps people should also be advised to “Enter at Your Own Risk”. she concluded. For further reference:

Above: according to the DPI website hunters must observe the following conditions each time they hunt on a State forest in NSW. Possibly the same rules should apply to picnicing families, bushwalkers and gold fossikers.

#Community #Opinion #Weekly

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