ACT Parks & Conservation will begin thinning and harvesting pine trees in two areas used by equestrians beginning next week. The two areas are shown on this Forestry Operations Map.
The first is clearing a small area against the southern boundary of the Zoo for fire management purposes. Eventually this will give riders using the Zoo underpass a wider access route.
The second is on the western side of the Tuggeranong Parkway along the River to the south of the Arboretum. This area is used a lot by weekend riders. The pine trees in the area will be either thinned or cleared. Where they are cleared, Parks & Conservation propose to replant with native species as part of the vegetation plan for the Molonglo River Park.
Modern foresters use very large machines which cut and trim pine trees like a giant pencil sharpener. They are very noisy. These machines will probably be operating all day, 7 days a week, for the next 2 months.
The cut timber will be removed by truck early in the morning between 4am and 8am. This is because they will be exiting the forest through the Arboretum. All trucks will enter the southern end of the Arboretum using River Road, the normal equestrian access route. These long, heavily laden trucks will be negotiating two very tight, up hill , right-hand corners so they need to be able to smoothly make those turns without having to stop/start to give way to other traffic. This is not a wise place to be on a horse.
After 8am it will be possible to access the Arboretum as usual using any of the River crossings, the fire trail along the river bank and River Road. There will be no tree removal in the immediate vicinity of River Road.
All the fire trails inside the green and yellow shaded areas on the map will be closed to unauthorised traffic for the duration of the forestry operation.
Signage will be in place on all roads entering the work site areas to warn walkers, joggers, equestrians and cyclists of the machinery operations. Additional signs will be erected for equestrian traffic at the Parkway underpass, Zoo underpass and the floodway crossing below Scrivener Dam.
Parks & Conservation have directly contacted Forest Park and the Canberra Equestrian Centre. Please pass this message on to anyone you know who might be likely to ride in this part of the forest, especially those riding from the local government horse paddocks.