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Forest And Bird Urged To Work With Landowners

7 August 2002

Forest And Bird Urged To Work Proactively With Landowners

The attack on an excellent sustainable development initiative in South Taranaki is yet another example of Forest and Bird compromising their aims by failing to work proactively with private landowners, says Federated Farmer's board member John Aspinall.

Forest and Bird have raised concern about the burn off of regenerating scrubland in the Waitotara catchment, which is a kiwi habitat.

"As DoC's research clearly demonstrates the loss of habitat is not a threat to kiwis, said Mr Aspinall.

"DoC is stretched for funds and continued expansion of DoC owned habitat, simply means more land gets poorly protected and managed.

"As the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says New Zealand is not developing an understanding of how to manage productive land for conservation outcomes, or indigenous ecosystems on private land for sustainable wealth generation.

"We will continue to do this badly if Forest and Bird persist in ignoring members such as myself and Allan Anderson, chairman of Bushy Park Forest Trust and neighbour of the farm in question.

"The farmer who has been given consent is an innovator and enthusiast who is working to achieve both commercial viability and ecosystem integrity. This farmer, like so many other farmers is balancing a personal attachment to the land and native species with the need to make a livelihood.

"The land that's being cleared is regenerating bush that is less than 15 years old and is not providing significant habitat to kiwis and is part of a much larger block providing good habitat for kiwis. A predator control programme is being established on the farm's 700 hectares of untouched native bush that will significantly improve the long-term future of kiwi in the area.

"Personally, my farm business plan provides for management of 60% of the farm for indigenous conservation and recreation objectives.

"I urge Eric Pyle of Forest and Bird to think again, stop abusing the RMA processes and work proactively with landowners."

ENDS


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