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Conservationists Urge End To W. Coast Rimu Logging

Conservationists Urge Immediate End To Last Rush Of West Coast Rimu Logging

Native Forest Action has sent a letter to Timberlands’ Minister Pete Hodgson today, alerting him that Timberlands is rushing on with logging in key West Coast native forests while it still can. The group urged the Government to end Timberlands’ rimu logging as soon as possible.

“Two Buller forests, Orikaka and Ohikanui are being logged as you read this, and have been since well before Christmas. Two days ago the log lifting helicopter returned to the Buller to remove hundreds more rimu that were felled by Timberlands during the past month – an urgent reminder that destructive native logging continues on public land at a fast pace,” said Native Forest Action spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer commenting on the letter to the Minister.

“West Coast forests shouldn’t have to wait until the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed on the West Coast Economic Package before they are afforded protection. Every day the Government waits, habitat of threatened birds is reduced as the trees come crashing down. We think these outstanding rainforests deserve priority.”

“Forests with significant conservation value are being further damaged every day and yet there is no legal, or moral, nor economic necessity to continue this logging. It’s time for the goverment to stop the plunder.”

ends

Letter to Pete Hodgson from Native Forest Action follows this release:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

National Spokesperson for Native Forest Action 44 Rhine Street Island Bay Wellington

17 February 1999 Re: Timberlands’ rimu logging

To: Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister Responsible for Timberlands

On behalf of Native Forest Action, I urge the Government to give immediate priority to the ending of all Timberlands’ rimu logging.

Two days ago the log lifting helicopter returned to the Buller to remove hundreds more rimu that were felled by Timberlands during the past month – a timely reminder that destructive native logging continues on public land at a fast pace.

Native Forest Action requests that the Government urgently ends all rimu logging by Timberlands West Coast as soon as humanly possible – more of our native forests with significant conservation value are being destroyed every day for no legal, or moral, or economic reason.

Since 1971, conservationists have fought government-based beech schemes planned for the West Coast and Nelson. Great relief and celebration followed the December announcement that Timberlands’ beech forest logging scheme would cease. While we appreciate this and the work going into the West Coast Economic Development Package, it is contradictory for the logging to stop before the package implemented – surely the few jobs involved can be absorbed into exotic plantation management.

We also ask that you inform the public about the urgency you decide to place on ending all Timberlands' native logging, including the so-called sustainable rimu logging in North Okarito and Saltwater forests which are home to threatened species such as great spotted kiwi and kaka.

Yours sincerely

Dean Baigent-Mercer

National spokesperson for Native Forest Action

cc. Hon. Sandra Lee, Minister of Conservation Rt. Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister Jeanette Fitzsimmons, Greens co-leader


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