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Logging not necessary for pest control

Media release Native Forest Action 1 February 2000

Logging not necessary for pest control

Buller Mayor Pat O'Dea's idea that logging is necessary to pay for predator control is absurd. "The forests at stake are some of New Zealands' best quality wildlife habitat and contain many threatened species. They will be a high priority for pest control funding when they are handed over to the Department of Conservation. Our forests and wildlife bring millions of tourist dollars into the country every year. Increased government funding for DoC is easily justifiable on this basis".

"It is wrong to refer to Timberlands' logging plans as sustainable management" said Mr Russell. "What the term 'sustainable management' boils down to is logging. Timberlands has made minimal committment to activities not related directly to timber extraction. Predator control and threatened species management are only mentioned as an attempt to greenwash their logging plans".

"There is plenty of scientific knowledge that Timberlands' logging plans are not ecologically sustainable" said Mr Russell. "Logging impacts would involve reduced numbers of older trees, which provide important nesting and feeding sites for threatened bird species. Natural disturbance regimes and nutrient cycling would also be altered. Pest spread and establishment would be intensified. Dozens of independant ecologists have pointed to these and other concerns".

Population biologist Dr Murray Efford of Landcare Research found Timberlands severely overestimated timber availability in their beech forests. English botanist David Bellamy has expressed deep concerns about the ecological impacts of the logging. Many professional New Zealand ecologists have also expressed strong opposition to Timberlands' logging plans because of the likely ecological impacts.

For further information, contact:

Peter Russell, Conservation Officer Native Forest Action Ph/fax 03/789-8734

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