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Conservationists Look Forward to the New Year

2000 AD promises to be an exciting year for New Zealand conservation according to the Forest and Bird Protection Society.

Forest and Bird's conservation director Kevin Smith said key initiatives early in the New Year would be the permanent protection of more than 80,000 hectares of West Coast beech forest previously menaced by Timberlands' subsidised logging schemes, the cre


"The creation of these new reserves will be fitting landmark events for New Zealand to celebrate early in the new century."

However Mr Smith predicted that there would be determined efforts by vested interests to weaken or derail these initiatives despite them all enjoying strong political support.

"The ending of the Timberlands research gravy train funded by native forest logging has already upset a couple of vocal academics who are mounting increasingly bitter attacks on conservationists. But there will be no turning the clock back. The beech fo


Forest and Bird believed the integrity of the proposed Stewart Island National Park would come under attack from deerstalkers who would seek to maintain populations of forest-destroying deer on the island.

"We also expect the fishing industry and some local body interests to resist needed moves to strengthen the conservation provisions of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill."

Other major priorities for conservation in the New Year will be:

The eradication and control of introduced pests and weeds

Greater efforts must be made to prevent new pests getting into New Zealand by being more vigilant in border control and by refusing to accept contaminated imports such as dirty used cars into our ports. Additional funding is required for pest control in n

to remove domestic stock grazing illegally in conservation areas.

Expanding New Zealand's reserve system to protect biodiversity

Key actions will include restoring funding for the Nature Heritage Fund to enable it to be effective in the protection of natural areas on private land, finalising the biodiversity strategy, creating high country and tussock grassland reserves, creating a


Encouraging Conservation Lifestyles

Conservationists will also need to encourage all New Zealanders to lead simpler lifestyles by avoiding the excesses of consumerism and economic growth. We all need to go easy on energy and go easy on the earth if we are to protect the health of our atmos


ends


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