Election Year Fight Over Chipping Beech Forests
Native Forest Action Media release 13 July 1999
Government Buys Election Year Fight Over Chipping Beech Forests
Today's announcement of changes to the Forest Amendment Act will allow the woodchipping of ancient native forests to make paper and ultimately rot in the landfills of Asia, says Native Forest Action. It greeted news of the government re-introducing the export of beech chips with anger and disgust.
"We intend to make sure that opening New Zealand's beech forests to wood chipping is a politically suicidal step for National in election year".
"This shows why West Coast native forests must be protected", spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer said. "We have known for some time that Timberlands was desperately trying to find a domestic woodchipper. National's decision opens the option of exporting our public beech forest as woodchips."
"A legislative change covering the whole country would not be required if Timberlands had no intention of woodchipping. It proves the economic viability of its beech logging scheme requires wood chipping. The choice now for these precious forests is full protection of threatened birds and bats habitat or chipped trees heading for overseas dumps and incinerators".
"We suspect the
government is trying to solve the problem of its SOE's
unpopular beech forest logging being an economic