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Brook Tree Harvesting Delayed To 2021 To Help Local Businesses After COVID-19 Shutdown

Credit: Sven Martin

Nelson City Council’s Forestry Advisory Group (FAG) has made the decision to delay the harvesting of Council trees in the Brook/Codgers area until July 2021.

The delay is designed to give businesses that operate in our forests some breathing space while Nelson recovers from the COVID-19 shutdown.

The harvest had been due to start in July 2020, but after consultation with local operators in our forests it was decided that it was important for businesses not to be interrupted so soon after being able to return to work.

Businesses in the area include the Gravity mountain biking centre, Helibike, Wheel Woman, and bike coach/guide Sandy Vincent. This will also allow recreational users more time to get out on their bikes in the area after many trails were closed to mountain biking during the shutdown.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, who sits on the Forestry Advisory Group, says Council wants to do everything in its power to help local businesses recover.

“Some of Nelson’s most innovative businesses operate within our incredible natural environment. Small, owner-operated businesses are the heartbeat of our local economy, so it’s vital that we allow these operators to get back up and running without further interruptions. I urge Nelsonians to get out onto our trails and into our forests to lend their support.”

Harvesting had originally been moved from October 2019 to July 2020 to avoid clashing with the peak season for mountain biking. The new dates still respect that decision, while ensuring that forestry companies will eventually be able to harvest.

Nelson Mountain Bike Club Comms Manager Brent Goddard welcomed the news.

"NMTBC is appreciative of NCC for revising and postponing the harvest dates. We are pleased that the new dates will have far less impact on our members riding in Codgers Bike Park."

"Krankin Kids mountain bike coaching is stoked to see the logging of Codgers pushed out another year and mountain biking access retained for this winter and into spring/summer,” says Wheel Woman Emma Bawtree.

“Our Krankin Kids (and Whanau) are so loving being back on the trials again after lockdown and are buzzing.”

Heart of Biking Trail Manager Joshua Aldridge says moving the harvest date was a pragmatic decision.

“This decision gives businesses that operate in our forests some much needed time and space to get back up and running. But this is also good news for tourism operators throughout our region, as domestic tourists will be able to come and enjoy all of our great rides if they pick Nelson for a post-COVID winter break!”

Forestry Advisory Group Chair John Murray says the right balance has been struck.

“Forestry is one of Nelson’s biggest exports, and key to the region’s economic success. But there are many other ways in which people make a living from our natural surrounds. I’d like to thank Council’s harvesting contractor PF Olsen for agreeing to the delay at this vital time.”

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