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Announcement pleases forest activists

Native Forest Action Media Release

30 May 2001

Announcement pleases forest activists

The government announced today that all 130,000ha of Timberlands’ native forests will be transferred to the Department of Conservation. "Native Forest Action is delighted these very important lowland forests will finally be added to the conservation estate," said Native Forest Action spokesperson Peter Russell. "This is a great day for the forests and a wonderful victory for non-violent direct action. It’s the result of decades of campaigning and strong public support for the protection of our remaining lowland forests." However, government is allowing rimu logging to continue in Okarito and other South Westland forests until April 2002. "Native Forest Action will not be holding its celebration until all the logging has been stopped."

"We’d like to thank all those people and organisations who contributed to saving these forests over the years, especially Buller Conservation Group and the Forest and Bird Protection Society," said Mr Russell. "This is an important defeat of the myth of ‘sustainable management’. Our precious lowland, old-growth forests are far too important to be used for dubious logging experiments."

"Canada, Chile and the United States have all recently stopped logging and road construction in vast areas of publicly owned natural forests," said Mr Russell. "Today’s announcement goes a long way towards maintaining New Zealand’s reputation as a leader in environmental issues."

For further information, contact Peter Russell or Steve Abel at 04/383-5168 or 021/565-175 or at the government function at the Beehive at 5pm today.

Native Forest Action P O Box 836 Nelson 03/545-6040


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