The Department of Conservation (DOC) has welcomed Nelson City Council’s actions to reduce the spread of wilding conifers in the Dun Mountain area.
The Council, through its environmental programme Nelson Nature, has more than doubled its financial investment in the control of wilding conifers in the Dun Mountain area.
It is also, through its Forestry Strategy, retiring 40ha of Douglas Fir plantation. These two steps are being taken to protect the flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem, and will greatly improve the environmental security of this nationally important site.
DOC Northern South Island Operations Director Roy Grose applauds council's initiative to protect a unique ecosystem.
"These are commendable steps by Nelson City Council to protect the unique Dun Mountain mineral belt plant communities from being overwhelmed by wilding conifers. It will also protect other valuable ecosystems in Mt Richmond Forest Park.
"Invasive wilding conifers with their rapid spread are a major threat to native ecosystems and natural landscapes. They are the number one target of our War on Weeds campaign in which DOC, councils, landowners and community groups are fighting to protect our environment from invasive weeds."
Retiring Douglas Fir plantations within council’s plantation forests within 2-5 years will remove the source of wilding conifer seeds in the area. The increased funding will ensure that weed trees already growing in the area can be effectively controlled.
Mayor Rachel Reese says that the steps being taken in wilding conifer control underlines the council’s commitment to ensuring Nelson’s natural environment is protected and healthy.
"We want to be a responsible forestry owner, and this means managing our commercial activities in a way that protects our treasured landscapes.
"Caring for our unique flora, fauna and landscapes is central to our long term goals. The Dun Mountain ecosystem is a local taonga that is nationally recognised, so it is fitting that Council is committed to protect it for future generations."
Nelson Nature Partnership
Council is delivering its 10-year funded biodiversity programme, Nelson Nature, in partnership with the Department of Conservation.
DOC is supporting the Nelson Nature programme with operational planning and technical advice, and supporting the delivery of wilding pine control using DOC best practice.