What are your thoughts on the draft Forestry Regulations?

​Now Closed

This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 3 August to 30 August 2020. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the engagement.


We want to hear your feedback on the draft Forestry Regulations.

Read the Forestry Act 1950 and the proposed amendments to the regulations to inform your feedback.

Let us know what you think by commenting below.

Comments closed

Tahlia Liebelt

30 Aug 2020

Please don't restrict dogs to on lead only 😔. We love walking through the forest with our dogs off lead and they love it, getting to explore and sniff. Our dogs are well trained and if we see other people or dogs coming we put ours back on the lead. We pick up our dog's poo and even take it home with us if there aren't any bins around. It will be sad if soon everywhere makes dogs be on lead as there are hardly any places now that you can have dogs off lead as even places in our neighbourhood with ovals or grassed areas are banning dogs. There are dog parks but they are often unsuitable and not big enough. It is unfair for dogs if they can't have a good run and play. I agree that people should not let their dogs run up to other people, other dogs and wildlife but it will be disappointing if dogs are restricted to on lead only because some people don't control their dogs and don't train them. Most people are responsible and put their dogs on lead when they have to or feel they need to. When we see kangaroos or other wildlife we put the dogs on lead or keep them far away. One of my dogs will not go near other animals as she is very obedient and will stay near us. She was raised with lots of other animals and is not interested in chasing them. Some people do training with their dogs to train them not to be interested in wildlife. We have had good experiences while exploring the forest, when seeing someone we have put ours on lead and so have they or we have kept our dogs away from their dogs and themselves and they have done the same. Dog's enjoy being out with their owners and it's great for mental and physical enrichment.

Jan Macpherson

27 Aug 2020

The Forrest encourages people to get out into nature, notice our natural environment, get in touch with nature. This is to be encouraged not discouraged therefore PLEASE DO NOT raising the fee for horse riders. I have ridden in the forest for 30 years, its my sane place. Push bike riders don't pay fees, walkers don't pay fees. I also take my dog with me when riding, she is well controlled and obedient, trained to come, runs beside the horse. It is impossible and would be a HUGE risk for the dog and horse if the dog was on a lead while riding. We are a team, my horse, dog and me. Please do not break up our trio. This would be heart breaking for all. In all the time I have ridden in the forest not once has my dog or horse caused any harm. Thank you for reading this, I hope it makes a difference to your proposed regulations.

Dale Viney

27 Aug 2020

Mushroom Foraging is a low impact hobby which doesn’t impact the ecosystem, in fact it promotes fruiting and provides an edible source which would otherwise decompose in the ground. I sure hope this isn’t included in fossicking

Government Agency

Forest Regulations Team > Dale Viney

30 Aug 2020

Hi Dale, Thanks for your feedback. Please note the proposed amendment to the fossicking regulation relates to mineral fossicking only not plants/fungi. The proposed amendment to include fungi as native vegetation relates to people harvesting fungi for commercial sale e.g at markets (for which ForestrySA may choose to apply a permit), not to indivduals picking for their personal use. Thanks again the Regulation Team.

ozziammo@chariot.net.au wyschnja

27 Aug 2020

There is absolutely no reason to further restrict or control metal detecting on forestry land, this is a low impact activity with no damage to the environment, nothing more than another money grab! Just stop this!


27 Aug 2020

Please do not raise the fee for horse riders this fee is discriminatory as walkers etc don't pay a fee. I have this in writing from the Minister approx 10 years ago. Also please do not enforce dogs on leads it is impossible and dangerous to lead a dog from a horse. I have had my dog in forest with me over many years without incident. Thanks Ruth

Don Battersby

25 Aug 2020

In my opinion it is better to avoid a possible confrontation with another dog by having them on lead and not have, as I had this weekend, a dog off lead come running right up to my dog before the owner realized their dog was not with them. It is about the safety of the dogs. As I have said, I have been walking dogs in the forest for many years and have never had a problem with them not wanting to go for a walk - always on lead. Perhaps the use of a long extension lead would be a solution?

Sue Pemberton

25 Aug 2020

I have been walking dogs and riding horses in Kuitpo forest for 30 years. There has never been a reportable incident in that time. I understand there are now more people in the forest due to the current circumstances but the dog rule changes are draconian. Kuitpo is one of the few places a dog can run free, otherwise you may as well not have a dog. I think there should be a requirement to carry a lead and put the dog on the lead when others are encountered. That would make everyone happy. My dog comes out with the horse to get a good run. I cant lead her off the horse.

Jean Milnes

24 Aug 2020

I frequently walk my dogs in various parts of Kuitpo Forest, I respect the need to have them on lead in the picnic areas, but would be very unhappy if there were no areas where they can be off lead. It is harder and harder to find places, other than dog parks where they can run free off lead. I am not a fan of dog parks because of the lack of control often exhibited by owners. In the 10+ years that I have walked in Kuitpo Forest I have only once met other dog walkers! Please do not restrict our use of this wonderful facility.

Government Agency


24 Aug 2020

Hi Glen

Thank you for your feedback and interest in the proposed amendments to the Forestry Regulations.

The use of drones within forest reserves will require lawful authorisation via the forest permit system. Conditions of use will be consistent with CASA regulations.

Regulations will prohibit the general use of generators. However, approval may be granted by ForestrySA for special circumstances (i.e. running of events, emergency services) and adhering to certain conditions (i.e. appropriate clearance for fire protection).

The introduction of a per vehicle campsite fee is consistent with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Statistics from forest permits collated identify the majority of campers hiking or cycling to a campsite are travelling alone or in pairs. The proposed per person fee (detailed in the draft regulations) available for campers hiking or cycling to a campsite is considerably cheaper than 1-2 campers travelling in a vehicle.

A final decision has not yet been made on any of the proposed amendments to the Forestry Regulations 2013. All feedback and concerns will be considered while balancing the needs of our various stakeholders, as much as practically possible.

Kind regards

Draft Forestry Regulations Project Team

Glen Turner

23 Aug 2020

Use of aircraft. The major issue here seems to be people operating drones within 30m of people, which is against CASA regulations. It may be worth the Forestry regulations restating this requirement, so that Forestry staff have the power to take action.

Use of generators. Some care should be taken to exclude photovoltaic solar and battery systems when those systems make no noise (which is usually the case). The regulation should allow generator use by emergency services (including SES, for searches). The regulation should seek to reduce the overall level of use of generators by campers, as these impose upon neighbouring campsites, whilst still allowing generators where they are essential to campers' wellbeing (eg, disabled campers).

Although I have no trouble with the cycling fee, it does seem odd that a family of camping cyclists may pay more than a family of camping motorists.

$70 a year does seem excessive for detectorists. If each park was to do the same then that would add up quite quickly for those hobbyists.

Horse riding. I've no issues with the additional parking horse riders require leading to daily charges.

Paul McKay

19 Aug 2020

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed amendments.

I would like to urge the relevant parties to reconsider the proposal to require all dogs to be restrained on lead at all times on Forestry properties.

Forestry sites are one of the very last options available for those wishing to hike any real distance with their dog off-lead. This is a valuable and much loved recreational activity for large numbers of South Australians. Whilst I acknowledge that the proposed amendments will not prevent people from walking with their dogs in the forests, the requirement to physically restrain the dogs will significantly diminish the value of the activity as an important means for people to provide exercise, training and enrichment to their pets.

Many dogs of medium to larger size (and even some smaller dogs!) require a great deal more exercise than it would be possible for an average person to provide on-lead. The average person is not an athlete able to keep up with the needs of these dogs – dogs need the opportunity to run and freely engage with their environment, a leisurely on-lead walk will not cut it. This is becoming particularly important as society shifts towards higher density living (smaller yards) while pet ownership is increasing, creating a growing need for large spaces where dogs can be freely exercised.

As a frequent user of forests for walking dogs for over two decades, I have observed large numbers of people using the forests for this purpose over that time, the overwhelming majority of whom are responsible dog owners who have put the appropriate effort into training their dog to prevent unacceptable behaviours. I have never seen a negative incident involving dogs and people or wildlife in the forests to date, and would strongly suggest that if there has been a recent increase in such incidents as suggested, this is a reflection of a very small minority of irresponsible owners and poorly trained dogs. I believe it would be a needlessly punitive over reaction to force all owners (again, the vast majority of whom have been doing the right thing) to keep their dogs on-lead due to what must be a very small number of incidents relative to the number of total recreational users of the forests.

Rather than the proposed ‘knee-jerk’ approach of forcing all dogs on-lead, I would urge that consideration be given to introducing this restriction only in camping areas, or other high traffic mixed use areas or defined areas of particular environmental/wildlife sensitivity. Dogs in the remainder of the forest areas should remain subject to the traditional requirement of being under effective control, a far more balanced requirement than the proposed changes. I would also suggest that increased signage be installed to ensure all dog owners are made very well aware of their responsibilities for appropriate control of their dog, including leashing any dog that may be prone to aggression or without a totally reliable recall.

Finally, I would point out that any attacks or negative incidents which may have occurred would clearly be a breach of the existing standards of control (as the dogs were not being effectively controlled) and would therefore offer scope for fines or prosecution for such poor behaviour, therefore tougher requirements are not needed in order to address such issues.

Robert Green

19 Aug 2020

Well said Maris. I am at a loss to understand why the request for feed back when signs have been erected throughout Kuitpo forest, making dogs on lead 'de rigueur', since before the June long weekend.....well before the ability to "have your say" was opened.

Jill Dislers

18 Aug 2020

While this on-line forum is visible to all who know it exists, it seems rather a one-way form of consultation, with very little coming from your side. I was rather hoping to speak with someone instead and am still waiting for the promised phone call. I can understand you are busy, now that the number of Rangers has dropped from 7FTE to 5FTE. It’s not so easy either, when day-to-day walkers, cyclists etc. are unquantified in number and not organised into specific user organisations to which you can turn.
You say that the number of attacks on wildlife by dogs has recently increased and this is the reason for your considering amending Regulation 20 (3). We (the public) don’t know those numbers, but can get some idea from the overall number of non-compliance events each year from published Community Forest Management Annual Reports. From those currently on your website, these events vary significantly - between 28 and 179 – with a median value of 55 annually, coinciding with the number most recently reported for 2018/19. What proportion of these is related to unrestrained dogs can only be guessed at, but it seems to me that there may be no clear trend of an alarming increase.
Without a realistic/acceptable target number in an imperfect world, to act as a benchmark, I understand your indecision when balancing your duty of care against the community’s access and use expectations. The number of responses clearly show that off-lead dog exercise is highly valued by the large majority of respondents.
A blanket ban on off-lead dog exercise at all Forestry SA locations, at all times reminds me of the old British “Red Flag Act” requiring self-propelled vehicles to be led by a pedestrian waving a red flag or carrying a lantern to warn bystanders of the vehicle's approach. Effective in a way, but utterly stultifying for the motorist. That was repealed, but remembered to this day as an example of poor legislation.
In this instance your proposal might not achieve the desired end. Some respondents have suggested that irresponsible dog owners will most likely do as they please, irrespective of what the law says. Without a well-publicised and broadly accepted reason for this diminution of civil liberties, I suspect many will take their chances and also ignore the proposed regulatory change, in situations where to them it seems patently ridiculous. Which in turn could burden Rangers with extra work for no real benefit.
I note that other jurisdictions with similar dog activity management issues (Adelaide City Council and Councils along the Adelaide foreshore) have taken a more nuanced approach with education programs, designated off-lead zones or times. I urge you to consider such an approach and leave the Regulation alone. Perhaps some old-fashioned face to face “town hall meetings” would be very productive.
Maris Dislers

Daniel Nemmoe

17 Aug 2020

I don't think dogs should have to be on a lead this is a natural environment which a dog would enjoy to run smell and feel free please remember most people live on a 3 to 4 hundred square metres and their back yard 40m2, please think of how a dog feels.
Regards Dan

Thomas Paine

17 Aug 2020

Instead of removing the ability to have off lead dogs in the forests how about a program to explain what effective control looks like and higher fines, enforceable through provided proof (this may be video), for people who disobey this? There are so few places left in this state that you can walk a dog off lead and let it explore, learn, play and exercise that it would be such a shame to lose another.

I am not a horse owner or rider but I don't see how increasing the fees for them to walk in the forest is reasonable when people and their dogs can walk for free. I do not believe that either should have fees.

Michele Meijer

17 Aug 2020

Please don’t change the rules on dogs having to always be on lead. The forests are the one safe place where horse riders can ride and take their dogs. I have done this for many years and have never encountered a problem even when meeting others with off lead dogs. People are generally very good with off lead dogs and they keep them well under control. I do not have an issue with fee increase. Michele.

Karl Thomas

16 Aug 2020

I don't mind paying more as long as more areas are opened up to fossicking. We only have 3 small areas we can legally fossick which leads to more and more people fossicking in areas they are not meant to. Imagine if on a Sunday morning every single fossicker in Adelaide went to Mt Crawford, how packed it would be. Open up more of the state close to Adelaide. Have patrols checking on those licences. Increase the fines to those doing the wrong thing. 99% of us do the right thing but that number will drop if you increase the fees and NOT open up more places. If I thought I could get away with it there is nothing to stop me from going to any state forest and quietly fossick around but I'm too honest for that. Stop punishing those of us doing the right thing and open up more ground. SA is the ONLY state with a carrot up it's butt about fossicking. Only the big mining companies are the ones who can do what they like, it seems.

Brad Corrie

16 Aug 2020

As I prospector I think the fee of $50 a year is enough. The increase isn't justified. I would be happy if they increased the fee and gave all yearly permit holders a key to a padlock. Saves waiting for monthly code and a key isnt passed around as easy as a pass code. What else would be nice if the increase goes ahead is rubbish bin or a toilet inside the fossilikg area like the camp grounds. Just a few ideas. Mount Crawford Gold Hunters FB page owner.

Alison Kay

16 Aug 2020

I’ve ridden my horse in the forest for a long time & always taken my dog & never had any issues, I’d be really disappointed if I couldn’t take my dog horse riding as it is impossible to ride with a dog on a lead, please don’t make these strict regulations for dogs, I think it is more important that people are sensible with their dogs & keep them restrained if they are unsafe, don’t make it a blanket rule for everyone, thank you

Jean Colquhoun

15 Aug 2020

Unfair that horse riders have to pay when most other forest users don't! Either all pay or no-one pays

Lynny Pe

14 Aug 2020

Having drones flying around in the forest has the potential to cause many horses to spook and risk injury or death to their riders as they are a flight animal. I know my horse would have an extreme reaction to a drone flying over his head. I think this has the potential to end very badly! As with many others - would like to know the reason that bike riders don't require to pay for a permit to ride in the forest and horse riders do?? Just interested to know the reasoning??

Gigi Rider

14 Aug 2020

Since the forestry sold out to a Chinese investment company, it has gone to the dogs. Gone are the beautiful winding paths,and most areas are not cleared properly and looks like a war zone. I live near the ones in Mt Crawford, they are cleared at a much quicker rate, every 15 years rather than 60. How can you justify the increase when less money is spent, nothing is done for horse riders, hikers, mountain bike riders, walkers? How about drinking fountains? Cleared paths, more toilets, more parking? . How about grubbing out the tree stumps, and cleaning up the dead limbs restricting access through the trees. And are you intending shooting the deer there? There is something wonderful about spotting the deer, so I hope I am mistaken.

Elizabeth Graves

14 Aug 2020

I think some decisions re dogs on leads has already been made as I have seen signs that were not there previously . This is most unfortunate as I have walked my dogs in Kuitpo for over 20 yrs and the kids and myself have ridden our horses in the forest with never a problem.Our dogs are obedience trained as were all our dogs. They know to leave wildlife alone not only for the wildlife sake but also for their safety. Roos can be lethal. We also have them on our own property a little group of the same Roos . We also have echidnas and lots of birds. They both know to leave everything alone. They know the commands. Please don't make all of the responsible dog owners pay for the few irresponsible people. There seem to be a number of people around these days who seem to be anti dogs simply because of their personal dislike of dogs . This is most disturbing as they seem to go out of their way to make complaints that are not confirmed .

Elizabeth Graves > Elizabeth Graves

20 Aug 2020

As one other person on this forum stated we do not have any actual figures on all these attacks and complaints. As I stated in my comments when another dog or horse rider approaches or people for that matter My dogs go back on the lead. The leave wildlife alone as do many other well trained dogs. Some people just do not like dogs and that is why I put them back on the lead. I tend to walk only during the week so the traffic is of course much less. I have found since this Covid issue a lot of people have come out of the woodwork as it were to invade the forest. Perhaps the foot traffic and the amount of rubbish I now see everywhere is a more urgent issue. Bins seem to be scarce too fore I am quite happy to pick up their rubbish and place it in a bin if I could find one.

Government Agency

ForestrySA > Elizabeth Graves

20 Aug 2020

Hi Elizabeth

Thank you for your feedback and interest in the proposed amendments to the Forestry Regulations.

ForestrySA have installed signs at access points to high visitation areas in response to an increase in complaints regarding not only dog attacks, but also from dog owners who walk their pets on a lead and experience other dogs running up to them uncontrolled. It is our duty of care to all forest visitors and completely within our charter as a public land manager to set in place access requirements considered necessary for public safety or any other reason. This has also occurred at other forest locations from time to time.

Please note, a final decision has not yet made on any of the proposed amendments to the Forestry Regulations 2013. All feedback and concerns will be considered while balancing the needs of our various stakeholders, as much as practically possible.

Kind regards

Draft Forestry Regulations Project Team

Sally Legg

14 Aug 2020

Like many others have commented I think the present rules which permit dogs off-lead when they are under effective control should remain. I have seen responses from the Forestry team indicating that even well trained dogs are not immune from chasing wildlife but this is not correct. I have owned multiple dogs and they can be trained to ignore wildlife the same as anything else they are not permitted to interact with. My current youngest border collie is a high prey drive dog but she doesn't see wildlife as prey which she is allowed to interact with because from the time she was a young puppy it was never permitted. She can be off-lead around kangaroos and will completely ignore them as she does people and other dogs (all of which can be trained). As a young dog she would trail a long line so she couldn't access wildlife if she had made an inappropriate choice to do so. I don't disagree dogs who are chasing wildlife/hassling strange people/rushing other dogs should remain on a lead but this should not be a blanket rule which prevents others from accessing the forest as an off-lead area to run dogs. What about considering a "permit" based approach to allowing dogs off-lead. People could then be required to demonstrate that they have adequate control of their dogs around wildlife. There are so few areas where people are allowed to have dogs off-lead legally why take away from the limited access people have to get out and enjoy a nice walk with their pets. By reducing places where people are actually allowed to have dogs off-lead your only increasing the number of people who will actually continue to break the law and walk dogs places inappropriately. Yes it certainly increases your power to enforce and gather revenue if that is your goal but it doesn't actually fix the problem. You only have to look at the number of parks within Adelaide which are dogs on-lead where the current compliance rate is low. People's willingness to comply increases when there are adequate spaces to comply properly. If you remove the freedom for people to exercise dogs off-lead the chances are the same people will continue to offend and your only punishing those who are doing the right thing currently by ensuring their dogs are under adequate control. You only need to look at the number of people who chose to walk dogs "illegally" off-lead on the streets. Having an enforceable law doesn't actually change people's behavior.

Karen Cocks

14 Aug 2020

I do not support dogs being on lead through the forests in SA. I would be interested in understanding what the statistics are on hurt dogs or wildlife that support this decision. It is an absolute joy to bring my 3 children and our 2 dogs to your forests for a walk and picnic. Never ever have we encountered a situation where wildlife or our dogs have been at risk. The only way a lot of people and families will enjoy the outdoors is to integrate the dogs with the activity. I would support dog on lead areas, such as highly used BBQ areas, but general walking trails which are often empty I don't. It would be a shame to have these restrictions in place.