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Mackenzie Country joint spraying operation

November 28, 2008



Mackenzie Country joint spraying operation

A major aerial spraying operation is underway to stop broom and willow infestations, along the Tekapo River, in the South Canterbury high country.

In a combined community effort, Environment Canterbury (ECan), the Department of Conservation, Meridian Energy, LINZ and the Mackenzie District Council have joined forces to pay for the work along the river downstream of the Lake Tekapo township as it winds its way to the popular picnic area at Lake George Scott.

The first stage of the operation took place on November 18 with a helicopter brought in to spray the plant pests, and further ground spraying will take place after Christmas. The helicopter was used because of the gorge-like passage of the river. 

ECan senior engineering officer Bruce Scarlett is overseeing the work.  He says each year the different organisations meet to discuss river maintenance priorities for the coming year, and in 2008 the Tekapo River work was identified as being an issue to target.

He says the aim is to remove all the broom, but some willows will be kept in place in bends of the river to act as flood protection barriers.


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