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Sections of Redwoods forest closing for harvesting

Sections of Redwoods forest closing for harvesting

Sections of The Redwoods forest will be temporarily closed off to recreational forest users from next week for around six months, while harvesting of large stands of radiata pine is carried out in the Tokorangi Forest.

Rotorua District Council’s Redwoods Forest & Visitor Centre manager Julianne Wilkinson says it is vitally important that forest users keep informed about closed tracks and roads, adhere to restrictions on forest warning signs and comply with directions from forestry staff on-site.

She says old crop radiata pine in the area has become unstable due to age, a number of trees dying off, and exposure to recent high winds.

“Logging trucks will be operating in the forest, along two main access roads. People using the forest will need to exercise extreme care as the area being harvested is quite unstable, and forestry staff will be operating potentially dangerous machinery and vehicles in places where sight lines are often compromised. Even travelling at reduced speed, big logging trucks can’t react quickly and safely when carrying heavy loads.

“We don't want forest users to put themselves or forestry workers at any risk by ignoring the warning signs. So the message is ‘stay informed, follow directions, be alert and be safe’,” says Ms Wilkinson.

Initially the Radio Hut loop area at the top of Nursery Hill will be closed from next week [from 26 May]. Later, tree felling work will move to the opposite side of Nursery Road through until the end of October. This will result in a number of roads and mountain biking, walking and horse tracks being temporarily out of commission at various times during the harvesting period.

While Genesis and Exit mountain bike tracks will be out of use until they can be reinstated after works are completed, most other tracks will remain available for use throughout weekends, and before 7am and after 4pm weekdays.

Signs with maps and information are being placed at main entry points to the forest and additional information is also available on The Redwoods website redwoods.co.nz and Facebook page.

Popularly known as The Redwoods, the Tokorangi Forest is bound by Tarawera, Long Mile, Radio Hut and Tokorangi Pa roads. The land is privately owned by iwi, through Central North Island Iwi Holdings Ltd, and managed on the company’s behalf by Rotorua District Council.

[ENDS]

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