Some tracks and roads in state forests and parks in north-east Victoria will be temporarily closed during winter and spring as part of an annual program to maintain environmental health and prevent serious road damage.
‘‘Seasonal road closures are important during the winter and spring months and have a two-fold environmental and safety benefit,’’ Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Hume Region forest and fire operations manager Shaun Lawlor said.
‘‘Firstly, this program helps limit the damage done to forest roads and tracks during the wet season and in doing so, ensures dangerous and difficult to negotiate sections of road are closed off from motorists,’’ Mr Lawlor said.
‘‘These measures also help maintain water quality in catchments by reducing the amount of silt and dirt washed away from roads and tracks into rivers and streams.
‘‘We encourage the social and recreational use of Victoria’s beautiful natural resources, including four-wheel driving, but some sections of the forest road network would rapidly disintegrate if they were used during the wetter months.
‘‘The closures were especially important last year, given the high rainfall across many areas of the state.’’
Mr Lawlor said more than 250 roads and tracks across the north-east would be closed from Thursday, June 15.
‘‘Among these are roads and tracks impacted by snowfall and sleet in the alpine areas and high country, and areas affected by fire-killed trees right across the region.
‘‘We consult with a range of stakeholders, including Four Wheel Drive Victoria, to identify sections of the road network which require closures.
‘‘Most of the roads and tracks are expected to re-open in time for the Melbourne Cup weekend, but the closure period can be extended if the conditions demand it.’’
■To plan your trip, go to the Public Access Map site in the ‘visiting parks and forests section’ at: www.depi.vic.gov.au/forestry-and-land-use/visiting-parks-and-forests/visiting-state-forests/public-access-map
■For maps of the closures, check the Seasonal Road Closures page on the Parks Victoria website at: www.parks.vic.gov.au