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Mid Dome to receive Govt funding for wilding pine control

Mid Dome to receive Government funding for wilding pine control

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and Minister for Conservation Maggie Barry announced Mid Dome has been added as one of five priority areas to receive additional funding for the control of wilding conifers.

Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust chairman Ali Timms said the funding would allow the trust to continue their work managing and controlling wilding conifers in the area, which has been undertaken since the nineties.

“We’ll receive $1.859 million over two years which we’ll use to aerial boom spray mature seed source trees,” she said. “This is very significant for our work and the Trust fully supports the National Wilding Conifer Programme (NWCP). Without this funding we’d struggle to keep up what we’ve achieved.”

Wilding conifers are invasive, woody plants that have cones instead of flowers, such as cedars and pines. When the cones mature, they release wind-blown seeds which can travel for kilometres and easily out-compete native species for space and food. They are especially a problem for tussock areas like Mid Dome, as they can permanently alter these unique New Zealand ecosystems and significantly impact productive farmland.

Environment Southland biosecurity manager Richard Bowman said wilding conifer control was a priority for the region, and a long and effective partnership with the Trust and other stakeholders was key to managing their spread in Southland.

“Our strategy has been to partner with the Trust, DOC, LINZ, and now MPI as part of the NWCP, and it has been very successful. We have to work together as without control, wilding conifers could easily become our biggest weed problem due to the area they can cover if left unchecked.”

He said since efforts began, around $7 million had been put into managing the Mid Dome wilding conifer problem.

The Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust was established in 2006, with the goal to eradicate wilding pines from Mid Dome and surrounding land to protect the ecological, economic and recreational values of more than 100,000 hectares of high country land.

The national programme is now into its second year, and the funding will help with the control work at Mid-Dome to address a significant and high profile infestation.

Mid Dome was identified as a new area to be added to the NWCP, alongside the Lammermoor range in Otago and three locations in Canterbury.


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