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Pine Harvest Plans for Tūtira Regional Park

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Plans for the upcoming pine forest harvest at the back of Tūtira Regional Park were approved at this week’s Environment and Services Committee meeting.

Approximately 114 hectares of pine forest in Tūtira Regional Park, owned by HBRC, is due for a staged harvest between 2018 and 2025.

The Council has been working on arrangements to secure access, minimise soil loss to Lakes Tūtira and Waikopiro, and other preparatory works for the harvest to occur.

Contractors awarded the job of harvesting the site will need to demonstrate to the Council innovative approaches to minimise soil and sediment from entering nearby lakes and waterways.

Asset Management Group Manager Mike Adye talked about protecting Tutira’s lakes from harvest effects.

“Contractors will have to show how their harvest processes minimise soil disturbance and disperse stormwater. We will pursue options like silt fences, drainage control, sediment traps or ponds, oversowing and replanting, and consideration for harvest timing to minimise any impacts,” says Mr Adye.

Harvest access is currently being finalised. Options considered have included using the present public access road for Tūtira Regional Park. This was not supported by hapū represented by Maungaharuru Tangitū Trust. The current park road is unsuitable for harvest. It also includes DOC-owned land and passes close to a number of sensitive sites of cultural significance.

The harvest itself will be timed to achieve the best return from timber prices. Construction and infrastructure costs will be met by revenues from timber harvest, estimated to be a net return of $2 million.

Regional Councillor Paul Bailey was satisfied with the plan presented to the Council.

“The health of Lake Tūtira is in our sights. This future work also needs limit any possible erosion and protect the sensitive Tūtira catchment. I am happy we’re on the right track,” says Cr Bailey.

Today’s recommendations will go to the end of month Council meeting for final approval.

16 March 2017

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