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Friends of the Maitai welcome council forestry retirement



The Nelson conservation group Friends of the Maitai has welcomed the news that the city council is to retire more than a fifth of its forestry land.

Friends of the Maitai spokesperson Tom Kennedy said the group was ‘thrilled’ with the news, as there is now no doubt of the link between forestry practices and the increased sediment in rivers.

“Sediment is detrimental to the river ecosystem – it allows algae to grow in our much-loved and well-used Maitai swimming holes,” he said. “We are thrilled with this news from council, which shows they have been listening to us, and to the science that now just can’t be argued with.” “We are thrilled with this news from council, which shows they have been listening to us, and to the science that now just can’t be argued with.”

Kennedy said Friends of the Maitai would be keen to see the detail of the plans to retire the forest, as the recent NIWA report on sediment in the Maitai River showed how cut over land with gorse and groom was a major contributor to sediment in the river.

He said the Friends welcomed the news that council was likely to replant 140 acres of former forestry land in native bush.

“This is what we have been pushing for,” he said. “Forestry companies need to diversify away from mono-culture Pinus radiata, reduce the size of clear felled areas and do more riparian planting, particularly around smaller streams.

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“We welcome council’s action on this issue and look forward to seeing them working with the forestry sector to make further changes as the National Environmental Standards on Plantation Forestry are implemented right across the Top of the South.”
Kennedy said the Friends were also pleased with the Council’s Groom Creek Wetland.

“We have an active plant care group in this area and we are very pleased with how it’s looking,” he said. “I encourage Nelson people to turn out for the public planting day on June 16 and see for themselves how community action can make real environmental change.”

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