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ACT Was There First With Rimu Recovery Proposal

ACT Conservation Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff has welcomed the West Coast Conservation Board's support for the recovery of wind-blown rimu.

"I have a private member's bill already in the ballot to address this very issue," Mr Eckhoff said, "but if common sense overtakes the Conservation Minister before my bill can be debated I will be well pleased.”

The board's support was achieved in a close 6-4 vote because some board members opposed interference in the natural cycle of regeneration. "The idea that there will be a net gain to the forest by leaving the trees to deteriorate in the natural cycle was totally misguided," he said.

"The state owned conservation forest cannot recover without a huge investment by taxpayers due to the need for sophisticated and costly integrated predator control. Any 'windfall' contribution to this work must be fully utilised for the overall benefit of the ecosystem. We should look to the net benefit of everything we do in the forest.

"A minimum impact approach must be adopted however. Steps must be taken to minimise damage to the forest floor. By taking only the main trunks the maximum biomass will be retained in the forest" Mr Eckhoff concluded.


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