Reports have emerged this week of several instances where wire has been found, strung up between trees at head height across walking and mountain bike trails at Baranduda Parklands. Parklands Albury-Wodonga, who is responsible for managing the reserve on the northern end of Baranduda Range, was notified of the wire issue via posts from the public on the Baranduda Community Centre’s Facebook page.
Parklands rangers are very concerned and believe that although this could be an attempt to target mountain bikers, which is a permitted activity in the reserve, it’s more likely that this has been an attempt to stop unauthorised trail bike riding in the area.
The reserve backs onto residential areas, and illegal trail bike riding does create significant numbers of noise complaints, as well as damage to management roads and recreational trails and environmental damage when trail bikes create new tracks through the parkland.
Wodonga Police have been notified about the issue and have responded with abhorrence that this behaviour has happened. Police say it is important that people do not take actions into their own hands like this, and instead report unauthorised behaviour or noise complaints through the appropriate channel, that being Wodonga Police.
Police have also said that the persons responsible for stringing the wire up, which would be likely to cause death or serious injury, would be arrested, interviewed and face court under the offence of ‘Conduct Endangering Life’. This is a very serious offence that can attract up to 10 years jail.
Parklands Albury-Wodonga rangers have since erected numerous “no trail bike” signs and conducted checks of some popular tracks, but warn reserve users to be on the lookout for wire or other obstacles on recreational tracks. We simply can’t check all the tracks in the reserve, so people need to be on the lookout and report any minor issues to Parklands and more serious issues to Wodonga Police. Efforts are also planned to improve fences around the reserve to prevent the trail bikes from entering through gaps where fences have been cut.