The Director-General of Conservation says a rare block of significant native forest will be secured under a land exchange agreement proposed with the company seeking to develop Porters Ski Area.
Al Morrison says he has informed the owners of Porters Ski Area, Blackfish Ltd, that subject to a number of conditions being met, he has agreed in principle to a land exchange proposal put forward by the company.
He said the proposal maintains public access to the land exchanged by DOC in the Porters Valley as well as ensuring this land continues to be managed to preserve conservation values.
Under the proposal DOC would exchange about 198 hectares of leasehold conservation land in Crystal Valley near Porters Heights Ski Area in return for a 70 hectare block of rare coastal lowland forest at Steep Head Gully on Banks Peninsula.
Blackfish would also surrender a further 320 hectares of leasehold land in the Porters Valley to DOC.
Mr Morrison says the proposal offers DOC the chance to secure the future protection of a rare piece of coastal native forest on Banks Peninsula.
“Protecting remaining coastal forests blocks like Steep Head Gully is a conservation priority – bringing this forest under public ownership improves the quality and the extent of land DOC manages.”
“With public access and conservation values also preserved in the Porters Valley, the over-all impact of this proposal is a net gain for conservation.”
Mr Morrison said DOC was still negotiating terms of the final agreement with the company and would be releasing further details of the agreement once a final settlement was reached.