By Derek Schlennstedt
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) is urging member of the public to come forward with any information they may have regarding vandalism of the recently opened ‘Hey Hey My My’ (HHMM) mountain bike trail in the Yarra State Forest.
The vandalism includes tree felling and sign destruction, which FFMVic believe occurred between Sunday afternoon (4 February) and Tuesday morning (6 February).
The trail, located near Warburton, was opened to the public on 24 January 2018 and was part of a collaborative project between Forest Fire Management Victoria and the Yarra Ranges Mountain Bikers group.
Senior Forest Management and Roading Officer, Yarra District, Monica Mains said it was disappointing that this has happened so soon after opening the trail a few weeks ago.
“It’s fortunate that riders were not on the HHMM trail at the time, as this destructive act could have caused serious injury,” Ms Mains said.
“We do not tolerate this type of behaviour in Yarra State Forest, and Forest Fire Management Victoria Authorised Officers are investigating the incident.”
“It is illegal to cut down trees on public land. Anyone caught can be issued with a fine up to $7,928.50.”
The new trail at Wesburn, near Warburton features a climb length of 2.5kms and a descent of 1.8kms and was heralded by The Yarra Ranges Mountain Bikers President, Doug Greenall, as a great new community asset and one he looked forward to using.
Sadly the vandalism which comes so soon after the opening has tainted much of the excitement surrounding the opening of a brand new trail for mountain bike riders in the Warburton area.
FFMVic is asking anyone who has information relating to this vandalism to contact the DELWP Powelltown office on (03) 5965 9901.
Forest Fire Management Victoria staff have since removed the tree and the trail is again safe to ride.