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Conservation Minister Lets Money Rot

Conservation Minister Lets Money Rot

Friday 6th Apr 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Environment

ACT Conservation Spokesman MP Gerry Eckhoff today condemned Minister Sandra Lee’s refusal to allow salvage logging of windblown trees near Haast on the West Coast.

“Leaving windblown trees to deteriorate on the forest floor is wasteful,” Gerry Eckhoff said.

“The state-owned forest cannot recover without a huge investment by taxpayers. Money gained from selling this timber could have been utilised for the overall benefit of the ecosystem.

“Ms Lee states: ‘Conservation areas are protected so natural processes can take place without human interference’. Yet human interference in the natural ecosystem introduced the possum. The possum continues to be the most destructive force in native forests – this environment is no longer natural.

“The minister fails to understand the difference between conservation and preservation.

“What is ‘natural’ about thousands of possums destroying the forests of New Zealand?

“Ms Lee has ignored the facts and based her decision on dogma.

“A far more common-sense approach would be to accept the private member’s bill I have in the ballot.

“My bill would mean a minimum-impact approach could be adopted. By taking only the main trunks, much biomass would be retained in the forest.

“Ms Lee’s fundamentalist approach to conservation is causing despair in many organisations concerned about the future sustainability of our biodiversity.

“This minister has no capacity for decision making and even less of that endangered commodity, common sense.

“Ms Lee intends to let millions of dollars that could be reinvested in the environment rot on the forest floor. That is inexcusable,” Gerry Eckhoff said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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