The Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust is celebrating success after winning changes to “unworkable” conditions that had been imposed on an exemption to the Emissions Trading Scheme Act, designed to allow wilding conifer trees to be removed from Mid Dome.
Last month Trust Chair Ali Timms said the conditions would have been impossible for the Trust to comply with and the deadline to apply for an exemption was too short. As a consequence, the proposed aerial spraying trial to control the trees could not proceed this summer.
Environment Southland backed the Trust in protesting against the “totally unworkable and impractical conditions”, and Cr Timms said that common sense had now prevailed.
“I’m pleased to report that as a result of the publicity that was generated about this ridiculous situation, alterations to the exemption criteria have been made,” she told the Council.
The definition of tree clearance now includes “spraying with a herbicide intended to kill”, harvesting, removing by mechanical means, burning or any other human activity that kills a tree. The conditions also acknowledge that a 100% kill rate may not always be achieved “as tree weeds can be difficult to eradicate”.
Most importantly, Cr Timms said, there would be no financial liability on the Trust if the total area exempted was not cleared or all the trees within the area were not killed before the end of the first commitment period.