Get­ting on board with For­est & Bird

The Tribune (NZ) - - Environment - BRENT BAR­RETT, FOR­EST & BIRD MANAWATU BRANCH BOARD MEM­BER

New Zealand ranks first in the minds of many for our amaz­ing nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and wildlife. Be­tween the north­ern coastal home of Maui’s dol­phin and Fiord­land Na­tional Park, there are bril­liant places in be­tween – such as the Manawatu Gorge, the Manawatu River es­tu­ary, and To­tara Re­serve.

For­est & Bird is New Zealand’s largest in­de­pen­dent con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion work­ing to pre­serve our nat­u­ral her­itage and na­tive species. The So­ci­ety has over 70,000 sup­port­ers and 50 branches around the coun­try.

The Manawatu Branch, founded in 1957, is host­ing re­cently ap­pointed chief ex­ec­u­tive, Hone McGre­gor, at a public meet­ing on Tues­day, July 14 at City Li­brary.

With Amelia Geary, the so­ci­ety’s lower North Is­land con­ser­va­tion man­ager, Hone wants to meet mem­bers, sup­port­ers and in­ter­ested mem­bers of the public to dis­cuss the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s plans and fu­ture.

The re­cent find­ing in the Hawkes Bay Ru­atani­wha case is one ex­am­ple of con­ser­va­tion ad­vo­cacy pro­tect­ing fresh­wa­ter and na­tive fish.

Lo­cally, For­est & Bird was the cat­a­lyst in nom­i­nat­ing the Manawatu Es­tu­ary for in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised Ram­sar sta­tus as a wet­land of sig­nif­i­cance.

Hone is con­tin­u­ing a fam­ily legacy, as his mother and grand­mother were ac­tive mem­bers of For­est & Bird for six decades.

For­est & Bird is ac­tive in pro­tect­ing oceans, sup­port­ing DOC’s suc­cess­ful Bat­tle for our Birds, and chal­leng­ing Gov­ern­ment on the ex­trac­tion of swamp kauri and the log­ging of West Coast wind­fall.

The lo­cal branch has fo­cused on or­gan­is­ing guided Manawatu Gorge walks, plant­ing days and habi­tat restora­tion, while sup­port­ing ini­tia­tives such as Reel Earth and Green Cor­ri­dors.

Hone and Amelia look for­ward to meet­ing ev­ery­one with in­ter­ests in con­ser­va­tion at next Tues­day’s 7.30pm City Li­brary meet­ing, through the Ge­orge St en­trance.

PHOTO: PAUL BOYCE/SUPPLIED

For­est & Bird chief ex­ec­u­tive Hone McGre­gor and Amelia Geary, lower North Is­land con­ser­va­tion man­ager, will talk about the fu­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion in City Li­brary next week.

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