The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust considers it a privilege to be able to complete what the old timers always envisaged. With this comes a strong sense of responsibility and a desire to help reconnect (and connect) people to this landscape and environment - to truly come to respect it, love it and enjoy it. We will be developing such 'stewardship' ideas and opportunities during the construction phase of the project ready for implementation when construction is complete. If you have an idea - let us know!
Environmental Impact of The Old Ghost Road
The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust is working hand in hand with DoC to ensure that the highest quality user asset results with the lowest possible impact on the environment. Several factors place this project in a uniquely positive position in that regard:
- Half the route - and the challenging half at that - was constructed 130 years ago. In the Lyell and Mokihinui Gorges we are engaged in restoration works only.
- In the tussock sections we'll follow wherever possible existing disturbance/bare ground.
- The grassy, open valleys of the Stern and Goat Greek catchments will be followed for 8 kilometres, minimising impact while maximising sun and vistas.
- By not touching the upper Mokihinui South Branch, that prime whio habitat is left undisturbed.
- The 8 kilometres of route through the Mokihinui Flats will meander amid giant beech and rimu, preserving these magnificent species.
Approvals and Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE)
An Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) has been undertaken in order to identify and quantify the effects associated with trail construction and operation and as importantly, identify mitigation for these effects where required. A copy of the project AEE can be accessed via the link below:
The project was considered and discussed as early as 2006. A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Department of Conservation in early 2009. It can be accessed via the link below:
Several more years of investigation, planning and low-level work resulted in the signing of a formal Management Agreement with the Department of Conservation to undertake construction, maintenance and operation of The Old Ghost Road. It can be accessed via the link below:
- Management Agreement - Department of Conservation and the Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust for construction, maintenance and operation of The Old Ghost Road.
Leave No Trace
We encourage users of the Old Ghost Road to adhere to the principles of 'Leave No Trace,' as follows. (Courtesy of Leave No Trace New Zealand
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimise campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of others
Good Mountain Biking Practice
The following MTB code was developed by the New Zealand MTB Association (NZ MBA) in liaison with key stakeholders and DOC.
- Stay in control. So you can safely avoid others and keep yourself intact.
- Use a bell or greeting when approaching others. Most negative feedback from walkers on shared-use tracks concerns being surprised by bikers approaching without warning.
- Ride shared-use tracks in small groups. A ‘bike-train’ with a dozen riders displaces other users. 6-8, or less, is a better number.
Respect the rules
- Only ride MTB and shared-use tracks; stay off closed tracks – including those that are seasonally closed to protect the surface or minimise conflict with other users. Land managers are generally pretty reasonable so talk with them about issues or ideas you may have.
- Be prepared - take food, water, tools, First Aid and warm clothes. Plan for the unexpected - a change in the weather, an accident or getting lost and late.
- Obtain permission from private landowners before you set out.
- Leave gates as you find them either open or closed to keep stock where they are intended to be.
Respect the track
- Don't skid, cut corners or make new lines. Skidding creates water channels and causes erosion. Use both brakes to slow down without skidding as you approach a corner. Cutting corners is cheating and damages fragile ecosystems.
- Avoid riding in the mud and rain. Both bikes and walkers damage soft, wet tracks.
- Clean your bike to prevent spreading weeds like gorse and didymo.
- Take rubbish home – like banana skins, old tubes and snack wrappers. Rubbish in the outdoors detracts from everyone’s experience.