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Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group new draft strategy

Media advisory
Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG)

The Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group has released a new draft strategy and is looking for feedback.

The new strategy, which lays out a control programme for the next 5 years through to 2017, will see the group widening its focus from wilding pine clearance to examining how and why clear areas become re-infested and how to remove or replace the seed sources causing the problem.

WCG chairperson Peter Willsman says with around 73,000 hectares of the Wakatipu infested with wilding trees, the latest strategy is vital if the problem is to be brought down to a manageable level.

“The aim of the control programme is to eradicate, contain and reduce the extent of wilding conifers in the district,” he said.

“$4.2 million dollars is required over the next four years to complete the control programme and having to re-visit sites after they’ve been cleared adds greatly to the cost. We need to widen the scope and look at the seed sources that are causing the problems.”

The WCG has adopted a five point action list for the project:
ALERT – the community to the exponential spread and cost of wilding control
COMMUNICATE – the WCG programme of control
ERADICATE – all seeding trees where possible
CONTAIN – non-removable wilding areas and planted forests
HAND BACK – control maintenance to landowners, DOC and QLDC at the end of the five year strategy period.

WCG is a volunteer organisation which sees landowners, the general public and community groups working together with organisations like the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Department of Conservation, Otago Regional Council and Land Information New Zealand to manage the spread of wildings and help retain and revive the natural landscape and bio diversity.

Queenstown Lakes District Council district forester Briana Pringle said the group was keen to hear from as many people as possible and would be receiving feedback until Wednesday 3 April.
A full copy of the WCG draft 2013-17 strategy can be viewed online at www.qldc.govt.nz.
ENDS