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Report shows need for immediate end to logging

4 February 2000

Report shows need for immediate end to logging

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said a report showing 90 per cent of the native forests controlled by Timberlands have significant conservation value vindicated a long-running Green campaign to end all native logging on public land.

Ms Fitzsimons welcomed the government's release of the Department of Conservation report which says the Orikaka forest has a high conservation value. "Orikaka is part of the Buller forests which everyone agrees are being logged unsustainably with most of the marketable rimu being extracted," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said although the report confirmed what many had long known, it was valuable to have in the public domain. "From this report there is a clear case to end all rimu logging but the most urgent priority must be the Orikaka forest," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the report shows the Orikaka Forest contains 2000 hectares of tall red, hard and silver beech forests mixed with rimu - considered to be one of the best examples of this forest type on the West Coast.

"Orikaka Forest is home to rare native species such as kaka and kakariki - the native forest parrot and parakeets. If Timberlands are allowed to continue until the end of the year, Orikaka Forest will be trashed and the kaka and kakariki will be out of a home," she said.

The Okarito and Saltwater forests - which Timberlands say are being logged sustainably - are also assessed as being of high value. Okarito is also the exclusive home of New Zealand's most endangered species of kiwi - the Okarito Brown Kiwi - of which only 160 individual birds remain.

"The Greens congratulate the government for publishing this report which confirms the ecological value and international significance of these forests. Now that there is no doubt what it is we are dealing with the impetus must be to stop the destruction of these priceless forests as soon as possible," she said.

Contact Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 025 586 068, 07 868 6511, 07 868 6641 (hm) Jonathan Hill (Press Officer): 04 470 6719, 021 212 0642


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