Interested parties and the values placed on TSRs
Farmers are the most consistent active users of the TSR network. This is in the form of a fodder reserve in times of drought. Farmers also carry out fuel reduction in sensitive areas adjacent to their homes or assets to reduce the risk of bushfire, and TSRs are still used for droving stock between locations.
In areas when there are enclosed reserves, five-year permits may be sought to further extend the amount of land that landholders have for their grazing operations. 28-day grazing permits are used to help with short term feed shortages.
TSRs are commonly used under a permit process by apiarists (beekeepers) for commercial honey production. Over 600 designated sites are available for use in the Northern Tablelands LLS region. Available apiary sites may be applied for at any time during the year. The apiary sites currently held by an apiarist are renewed each year. The leasing period is from 1 January to 31 December.
Along much of the TSR network, Councils are adjacent landholders and share responsibilities that are similar (e.g. weed control).
Several shires in the region have roadside vegetation management plans which seek to conserve, protect and manage high conservation value roadside vegetation. These include Glen Innes, Armidale and Uralla. As part of these plans, significant roadside vegetation has been identified, often adjacent to TSRs.
Councils often rely on access to road material from adjacent land. Shire Councils need to seek approval for the extraction of gravel from TSRs for road construction.
General community interest
The Catchment Action Plan development undertaken by the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA in 2012-13 highlighted, during community consultation, that TSRs have multiple values to the community. In the Uralla meeting, seven out of 24 natural assets highlighted by the local community as being of importance, were TSRs. Some groups in particular have lobbied over past years for improved management of sites that are valued for more than the purpose of travelling stock.
Adjoining landholders are often active users and have an interest in TSR management. They still need to seek and secure permission for access across TSRs to enter their property and for the construction of roads. This permission is re-sought upon change of ownership.
The droving culture or heritage is an important part of many people's understanding and interest in TSRs. Modern droving methods are different to traditional ones, although in the recent drought there was a rise in the number of people droving using more traditional walking mobs.
One of the biggest differences in current droving methods is the use of two and four wheeled vehicles as part of droving and their impacts need to be considered. There is an agreed Code of Conduct for drovers that applied state-wide under the RLPB and LHPA. This is still adopted and communicated as a policy position of the Northern Tablelands LLS in the absence of any other state-wide directive.
Aboriginal cultural heritage
There are very sensitive cultural values linked to many TSRs which have historically been in the background and, in many instances, not formally recognised. Many TSRs are in areas that were historically used by Aborigines. The routes chosen across the country and used for droving were, in many cases, the original tribal paths of local groups which were easily traversed and had accessible watering points. Many sites of significance (such as scar trees) are yet to be identified.
Other community groups and passive recreational users
Interested parties include:
- National Parks Association of NSW
- The Grass Routes initiative
- Bird watching groups
- Naturalist groups
- Seed collectors
- Grey nomads
- Mountain bikes & cyclists
- Cross country/long distance runners
- Horse riders, particularly following the Bicentennial National Trail
- 4WD (4WDing is not permitted on TSRs however in some areas they ajoin State Forests and illegal use occurs)
- Canoeists needing to access sites