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Endorsement for Government wildlands programme

Endorsement for Government wildlands programme

The Government's Public Wildland's Programme is the eastern equivalent of the protection of the West Coast's magnificent rain forests. Representatives at Forest and Bird's Annual Conference today unanimously endorsed the Government's new Public Wildlands Programme.

"We applaud the progress made in the last 12 months in the creation of a network of South Island high country parks and reserves. This is the largest step forward in high country conservation and is the eastern equivalent of the protection of the West Coast's magnificent forests," Dr McSweeney said.

"While tenure review was making some progress, the biggest gains to date have come from a decision to transfer Molesworth to the Department of Conservation and high country and island purchases by the Nature Heritage Fund.

"The purchase of Clent Hills, Birchwood and Poplars stations are major conservation achievements that will safeguard important mountain lands of the South Island. These high country purchases provide the opportunity to create and expand a network of high country conservation parks," he said.

"The transfer of Molesworth to the Department of Conservation next year will be a major step forward in the conservation of dry South Island east coast mountain ecosystems," he said.

"The protection of places like Molesworth and Birchwood will help safeguard some of New Zealand's rarest plants and animals from extinction," he said.

"The Government's Public Wildlands Programme will benefit New Zealanders for generations to come. It may be some time before people fully appreciate the benefit of the programme to the country. It is not only good news for conservation. The potential of places like Molesworth for outdoor recreation lies largely untapped," he said.

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