Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Online mapping scheme to mark public and private land

According to 3 news, the murky issue of recreational access to public and privately owned land is about to become much clearer with the creation of an extensive online mapping system.

The new scheme was outlined in a draft strategy out today and aims to stop meandering hunters, fishers and walkers from going where they are not welcome.

“This walking access proposal will be about clearly marking where people have every right to be,” says Agriculture Minister David Carter.

The extensive map will include contact details for all land owners with the aim of making it much easier to seek permission for access.

“The farmers have said all along they wanted to be asked for permission, but it’s damn hard often to find out who the owner is,” says Bryce Johnson.

Farmers say if they know who is on the property, they can better protect their business and the visitors.

“If the farmer doesn't know they're there, or he's let a mate go hunting, it can lead to accidents and death and a very expensive Search and Rescue operation,” says Chris Sundstrum from Federated Farmers.

The new strategy won't be much help to those heading to the outdoors this summer though. The commission will spend the rest of the year in consultation and hopes to have a pilot scheme for the new mapping system in place sometime next year.


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