Rogue mountain bike riders trash conservation zones
ROGUE mountain bike riders have brazenly built illegal tracks near a Mansfield bikeway and returned to vandalise threatened remnant rainforest in Whites Hill Reserve, trashing work from Brisbane City Council to fix previous damage.
Vandals made headlines in 2014 and again last year when trees were chopped down in the Sankeys Scrub conservation zone at Holland Park to build elaborate tracks with earth mounds and timber structures for jumps.
The vandalism was condemned by the mountain bike fraternity, council and conservationists who had volunteered over 20 years to rehabilitate the area.
Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) bushcare leader Rod Longmire discovered the damage to Sankeys Scrub this week while checking a section of the reserve adjacent to Pine Mountain Road.
Mr Longmire said the vandals had developed a more sophisticated bike trail with substantial earth works, removing bark placed by council as a deterrent through areas where bike trails had previously been dug and also building new bike tracks.
"It seems some of the mountain bike people have taken it as a challenge," he said.
"They must have had group working bees judging by the amount of work it would have taken."
The damage follows similar vandalism in bushland at Mansfield near Cresthaven Park reported early last month.
B4C catchment manager Wayne Cameron said excavations, tree and vegetation removal could be seen along the Bulimba Creek bikeway and called on the public to report such acts of vandalism to council.
"This is substantial damage to bushland and a major impact on our waterway corridor," Mr Cameron said.
"It appears breaking local laws means nothing to these impact recreationists."
Councillor Ryan Murphy (Chandler) has inspected the damage at Mansfield and initiated remediation on the illegal tracks.
A Brisbane City Council spokeswoman said the Council was investigating reports of damaged vegetation at Sankeys Scrub conservation zone at Whites Hill Reserve.
Those found guilty of illegally interfering with protected vegetation can face fines of up to $660 or prosecution.
Originally published as Rogue mountain bike riders trash conservation zones