Otago Daily Times
Willow removal project seeks more support
THE Government’s Jobs for Nature Fund has funded a pilot project to remove willow trees and fencing along the Lindis River, but more money is needed if the project is to continue.
Lindis Catchment Group project manager Tim Davis said work started on removing crack willow trees along a section of the Cluden Stream in December and was due to extend to sections of the Lindis River this month.
Crack willow was planted throughout New Zealand for river stabilisation, but a lot of the trees were old, brittle and clogging stream beds, he said.
‘‘They also use a lot of water and in a watershort environment like Central Otago, this has effects on instream flows and habitats, especially small water bodies like Cluden Creek.’’
The Lindis Catchment Group applied for funding through Jobs for Nature, a Covid19 recovery programme; it received $771,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries from the Productive and Sustainable Land Management package, Mr Davis said.
It had been great to receive the funding and support from other organisations to get the project under way, but the group was looking for further funding to remove more willow and replant more areas with natives.
The project would also install fish exclusion devices in Coal Creek to help protect populations of the rare native Clutha flathead galaxiid from predatory trout, Mr Davis said.