Tack­ling the wild­ing pines on Tauhara

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - Letters To The Editor -

Con­trol of wild­ing pines on the cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant Taupo¯ land­mark Tauhara Maunga will be­gin be­fore the hol­i­days.

The work is part of a long-term vi­sion and restora­tion plan for the maunga, and a pri­or­ity for the joint trusts charged with kaiti­ak­i­tanga — car­ing for the health and wellbeing of their taonga.

The pop­u­lar walk­ing track to the sum­mit of the maunga will re­main open, how­ever vis­i­tors may no­tice he­li­copters and con­trac­tors work­ing to con­trol the in­va­sive wild­ing pines, which seed quickly and spread eas­ily, over­tak­ing ecosys­tems for na­tive species. Fol­low­ing an eco­log­i­cal as­sess­ment of the moun­tain in 2017, small-scale con­trol has been hap­pen­ing for some time. This next phase is a sub­stan­tial push to erad­i­cate re­main­ing pines and pre­vent fur­ther seed spread.

“Long-term, the com­mit­ment and vi­sion of the Trusts are to safe­guard, re­store and en­hance Tauhara Maunga,” says joint trusts spokesper­son John Fen­wick.

“The trus­tees have en­dorsed the he­li­copter op­er­a­tion and con­trac­tor work to re­move the wild­ing pines as an ac­tion re­sult­ing from the eco­log­i­cal as­sess­ment pre­vi­ously com­mis­sioned. We hope this work en­ables us to move ahead with fu­ture en­hance­ment of the maunga, which in­cludes ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for po­ten­tial eco­nomic devel­op­ment,” he said.

Photo / Anna Brabyn

Mt Tauhara is a cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant taonga and also a pop­u­lar walk with vis­i­tors and lo­cals.

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