× Trails 越野路徑

Of tree and fences

8 years 9 months ago #1229 by tom
Replied by tom on topic Of tree and fences
I think that the AFCD enjoyed the trip thanks to our hard earned $$$

Whether they have learned anything??

Not sure yet.

With members of HKMTB.COM we met them on Jan 19 at Legco. In addition to the usual suspects from Tai Lam and Lantau they had very senior AFCD people there as well. Near the end, they agreed to meet us again before CNY to discuss THEIR trail proposals which is based on proposals provided to them by the HKMBA and other sources. We were told that we would receive them two weeks prior so that we could do our assessment.

Will the AFCD honour their pledge to discuss trail openings before CNY?

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8 years 9 months ago #1228 by donkeyman
Replied by donkeyman on topic Of tree and fences
What ever happened to the trip to Whistler by the AFCD? Did anything ever come out of it?

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8 years 9 months ago #1227 by tom
Replied by tom on topic Of tree and fences
The period is 4 months! Aug 1st to Nov 30th.

Not sure who this quote is attributed to: "there are lies, damned lies and statistics!"

... and then there are the Marine and Country Parks Board members

I watched the proceeding of the Marine and Country Parks Board meeting last week with Kenneth and the Board completely skipped past the stats except to talk up the 22% increase in visitors.

This Board nitpicked a presentation by the Jockey Club Hong Kong Federation of Youth presentation regarding the Youth Camp expansion for almost 2 hours including the colour the building, traffic impact, the exact number of trees, whether pilings are reclamation, and so on... this group will have to wait another4 months to get approval for their plans

When the topic of the High Speed train going through the country park came up they quickly skipped over it... hmmm

One Board member was visibly asleep (head tilted back, mouth wide open)...

When the topic of the new marine geo park came up and someone mentioned that a CLP wind farm would be built nearby, one board member hastily said "Let's block that!" but was then told that the CLP wind farm already has govt approval... it was interesting to observe this man's knee jerk reaction to a clean, renewable form of energy that is actually good for the environment and country parks... or maybe he was worried about the loss of CO2 that is needed by plants and tree in country parks. In that case he's correct.

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8 years 9 months ago #1226 by ratcat
Replied by ratcat on topic Of tree and fences
We 365 days a year. 198401/365=543.56. They need to give advice to about 543 people per day to reach this number. But did I see the state correctly from Aug to Nov? 4 months? how many advice they need to give out everyday to reach this number I wonder....

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8 years 9 months ago #1225 by tom
Replied by tom on topic Of tree and fences
Symbolism is out, stats are in.

Be happy to know that the AFCD made 57 prosecutions in regards to Illegal Entry of Bicycle under the related ordinances between Aug 1 and Nov 30, 2009.

Dont ask me how the AFCD come up with these numbers but here is where the stats get a bit crazy. They had 5,038,000 visitors during Aug 1-Nov 30, 2009 and they gave "advice" to a total of 198,401 visitors. This breaks down as follows: Littering (198.016), Polluting water course (22), Illegal Cycling (53), Illegal entry of vehicle (150), Others (160).

Okay, so this works out to giving "advice" to 4% of all country park visitors.

Either the AFCD's numbers are completely wrong or these people have some kind of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and prefer upholding rules than conservation. That's as if the police stop one vehicle in every 25 on the roads all day long.

I forgot to mention the most important stat: they planted 400 trees

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8 years 9 months ago #1224 by ratcat
Replied by ratcat on topic Of tree and fences
Mountain biking is growing very rapidly. All the trails in Tai Lam Country Park is an open invitation for good riding. The riders and the AFCD knows about it. The AFCD symbolically raises pillars (like the one in Kap Long entrance) and the no biking signs on those trails to remind us we are in illegal sectors. These action are not intented to riders from entering, but it is just a symbol. The sub text is, we need to respect those symbols by not tampering with it. Leave it there and ride on. THe AFCD sees the big rock jump as our symbol. We knock off the a sign or up root a post, they will dismantle stuff made by bikers. This is the hidden balance between these two forces.
There is also a balance between hikers and riders. This is even easier to maintain. Just say hi to them with a dash of good morning or good afternoon will do the job.
The AFCD follks are not park rangers nor people especially interested in nature and wild life. Most of them are just people who likes to do very little and get thier paid as easily as possible. They are only motivated to do stuff when their ego is challegned.
So ride on with a smile on our faces. Maybe in the future, legit folks like HKMBA can get more trails officially open. Meanwhile enjoy all the different trails with caution. And if I get caught and end up paying the fine of a few hundred dollard, then I think to myself this is only the entrance fee for my 3 years of riding. I had only been caught once, 200 hkd. Not a bad price for all milage of riding........
Think positive....

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8 years 9 months ago #1223 by tom
Replied by tom on topic Of tree and fences
They could go one step further and use this program as an excuse to also cut new trails for us...

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8 years 9 months ago #1222 by ratcat
Replied by ratcat on topic Of tree and fences
hum....how about cutting those exotic tree and use it to build more berms and jumps? any chance? heheh

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8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #1221 by tom
Replied by tom on topic Of tree and fences
The AFCD official probably meant that the fence was built to keep the 2-wheeled "garbage" out of the park...

Apparently the local Civet cats are tired of the diet of berries provided by the exotic trees so they campaigned to get the old, dying, exotic trees with unpalatable berries replaced with newer trees with tastier berries. Expect a more robust brew at the local coffee house soon.

According to the attached SCMP story:

Lam said such local species, with longer life spans of up to 100 years, were versatile. For
instance, sweet gum leaves could become as colourful as maple leaves in winter and its
seeds could be used as herbal medicine to improve blood circulation.


Its nice too see an AFCD Officer is concerned about health matters for a change but too bad that its illegal to pick the seeds from the trees in country parks... no matter, I prefer to ride my bike for improved blood circulation.

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8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #1220 by ratcat
Of tree and fences was created by ratcat
You know the litlte path beside the bus station (where mini van stops and unload) at TMS entrance where some MTBers like to drop down from?? Well here is the story......

Last Wed I went to TMS and saw these guys building a fence behind the bus station thus blocking access to this little path. I thought they were doing it to stop people from riding down. But as I confront the AFCD official, he freaked out. He said the purpose of this fence is not to stop you people from riding down, but to stop garbage blowing into the park. I apologies and all was well.

Very well then....

The next Sunday I was there again and saw the fence was ripped open at the entrance of this little path. Access was achieved and some folks were riding down it.

I smell something bad is about to happen....

This pass Wed I was there again (oh yes business have been slow and I tend to ride like if I won the lottery or something). To my surprise, AFCD had cut down this big old beautiful tree beside the path and its great trunk lies right across the path blocking access for good.

So I ask what is the logic behind this?

The fence was build for a reason, stopping garbage from entering park area. The fence was damaged, most likely by MTBers from the AFCD point of view.
Cutting down this big tree will stop MTBers from damaging the fence.
The fence then is more precious and valuable then the tree which had been their from many years.
AFCD= Agriculture, Fences and Conservation Department

Absurd right?
And so I thought......

No, this is the Chinese way. The fence is only a symbol of face. When face is freaten all other issues are compromised. Even though the main duty for AFCD is to protect the enviroment they will not blink an eye to cut down a tree to preserve this face symbol. The more MTB folks challegne thier action/policy, the harder they will be upon MTBer whether these challegnes are legit or not.

As a rider I have no solution to this situation except to ride on like if the mountain belong to me and everybody who treasure it by foot or on a bike.....

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