The Lithgow Mercury have been closely following an issue at the Turon River which was brought to us by members of the Palmers Oaky Upper Turon Landcare group.
Their concerns were in relation to four-wheel drivers causing damage to the river and wanted to block four-wheel drive access from Lyrebird gate on Palmers Oaky Road, through to the corner of Sunny Side property.
"We need something to stop access along that stretch," Landcare coordinator Robert Green said.
"We don't want to stop people from walking in, just driving. We need fencing of some sort that still allows people in by foot."
The Landcare group reached out to Lithgow City Council asking for a barrier to be put into place as well as the installation of garbage bins, fire pits and barbecues, in the reserve for public recreation and resting ground. The camping area is located halfway to Bingle Tree.
Lithgow City Council director infrastructure services Jonathon Edgecombe confirmed that the camping area was Crown Land and therefore outside the care and control of Council.
The remaining land in the vicinity of Palmers Oaky Road was therefore owned and the responsibility of someone else.
The Lithgow Mercury reached out to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) where a spokesperson stated it was not their responsibility as it isn't an organisation or business polluting the river.
So whose responsibility is it?
The Lithgow Mercury recently reached out to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) - Crown Lands, to see what they had to say on the matter.
A DPIE spokesperson said in relation to the public camping area, Crown reserves were for all people of NSW to use and enjoy, and visitors needed to treat them with respect - including four-wheel drivers.
While it is still unclear who is responsible for the maintenance of the stretch of the river that is being damaged, Crown Lands advised four-wheel drivers to stay out of the river.
"Some of the river is part of private property which could be a matter for the police.
"Crown Lands is responsible for the river bed and banks," a spokesperson said.
"Four-wheel drivers visiting Crown reserves should use established roads, stay out of rivers, and avoid driving in areas after wet weather to prevent damage.
"Anyone who damages a Crown reserve may be subject to compliance action," they said.
They said any vehicles entering Crown land needed to be registered and operated by a licensed driver.
"If any motorists are committing driving offences, including driving in a dangerous manner that is threatening public safety or property, it should be reported to NSW Police."
They also said while there was no plans to install barbecue facilities at the reserve all visitors needed to treat the reserves with care and leave them as they found them.
"This includes taking away any rubbish they may have generated during their visit."
Crown Lands have said they will engage with the Palmers Oaky Upper Turon Landcare group to discuss issues and management of the reserve.