Over half a million dollars will be dedicated to a major push this year on the war on wilding pines in the Wakatipu Basin, Queenstown Lakes District Council district forester and Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG) spokeswoman Briana Pringle said.
The group today announced the work programme for the coming year with strong financial support from key funding agencies.
“It’s an acknowledgement from these funders that this is a critical project, which left unchecked has the potential to completely transform what is an outstanding natural landscape,” Ms Pringle said.
The wilding group has received total funding of $509,447 from:
- Landowners contribution ($79,097)
- Skyline ($50,000)
- QLDC ($129,451)
- Central Lakes Trust ($48,898)
- Lotteries Commission ($159,001)
- DOC Wanaka ($15,000)
- Community Trust of Otago ($20,000)
- LINZ ($8,000)
QLDC Mayor Vanessa van Uden said the Council, together with the Department of Conservation, recognised the significance of the project and more importantly the consequences of dropping the ball.
“My message to these funders is to congratulate them on their vision. To funders that have not come on board or who may be considering supporting this essential project my message is, why not?” she said.
The strategy would see concerted and continued eradication until 2017, at which point containment would become the focus.
“Thanks to the incredible support by funders and the amazing contribution by volunteers, we are on track,” Ms Pringle said.
The work scheduled to be undertaken in 2013/14 included:
- The Loch Linnhe faces on the way to Kingston past Wye Creek.
- Halfway Bay (opposite side of the lake, down from Cecil Peak Station).
- McKinlay’s Creek (between Cecil Peak Station and Walter Peak Station).
- Ben Lomond Station, Moke Lake and Moonlight Track area.
- Continuation of the Roaring Meg project.
- Ben Lomond faces below Ben Lomond above Fernhill.
- Bushy Creek Ben Lomond Station.
- Closeburn Station.
The next big wilding volunteer day would be held in March but people interested in completing volunteer work during the week days could contact Ms Pringle to participate in smaller expeditions, undertaken on a monthly basis.