The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination will have a direct impact on our environment. The 160km+ of tracks will all be new trails cutting through our bush. The width of the trails will vary but the widest, the X-country trails will be 900mm wide with one metre of bush cleared either side for a total of 2.9 metres. With 160kms+ of zigzagging trails through the bush this can knock out a fair amount of bush.
Mountain Bike Trails make a larger impact on the environment than walking trails and the gouging out of trails with attendant erosion is a problem
It has been demonstrated that feral animals like foxes, dogs and deer use trails to enter the bush, while the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum cannot cross over more than a metre of trail and even that is difficult for an animal that prefers to travel from bush to bush (not through the canopy of the trees).
The Leadbeater’s Possum
The Leadbeater’s Possum has colonies in the areas that Mountain Bike Trails are planned to go. The possum was gazetted as the Victorian Mammal Emblem in 1971 and it is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 as threatened.
Federally, Leadbeater’s Possum is listed under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 as Endangered and as Critically Endangered in The Action Plan for Australian Mammals (Woinarski et al., 2014, CSIRO).
The Wingless Stone Fly
The top of Mt. Donna Buang is home to the Wingless Stone Fly, an instinct that lives only there and in a much smaller colony on a nearby mountain. It has been recommended that no more construction be taken out on Mt. Donna Buang in order to protect this very rare and threatened species.