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Man fined for running bike tours in state forest

AN Urbenville man has been fined almost $5000 for running unauthorised motorbike tours in a state forest.

The Forestry Corporation of NSW released a statement saying Kyogle Local Court had recorded a conviction and ordered the man to pay $4700 in penalties and costs for unauthorised use of a forestry area by operating commercial motorbike tours without a permit in Yabbra State Forest.

Forestry Corporation of NSW's Strategic Projects and Programs Leader Justin Black said the unauthorised motorbike tours were discovered following complaints from the local community.

"The courts treated this as a serious offence, which demonstrates they recognise the safety and environmental risks posed by operating this sort of commercial tour without any authorisation," Mr Black said.

"While motorbikes are welcome in State forests, they can only be used on formed roads, they must be registered and riders must be licenced. We also welcome commercial activities in forests but we have a permit system to ensure these activities are conducted safely, within the rules and in locations where they won't adversely impact other forest users or the environment.

"We have businesses and community groups running everything from car rallies to high ropes courses in forests throughout NSW and we're happy to work with local businesses to develop new ways for people to explore State forests, but permits are an important way to protect the community and environment and we can't have businesses operating outside the regulations.

"This conviction sends a clear message that if you do the wrong thing in State forests, you will be caught and penalised."

For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, including information about Forest Permits for commercial operators, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au



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