Summer holiday visitors will provide insights into the priorities for preserving places, plants and animals in the region, Northland Conservation Board chair Mita Harris says.
Conservation in 2012 will have a strong focus on public submissions to the Conservation Management Strategy, which will set a plan for how the region is managed for the next decade and further into the future.
Mr Harris says, “It’s that time of the year when family and other visitors come north to stay with local people because Northland has so much to offer outdoors.
“It will be helpful to hear what visitors say is important to the future of Northland and to bring that into our review along with the views of the people who live here.
“Members of the Northland Conservation Board will welcome hearing any inspirational thoughts,” Mr Harris says.
Mr Harris describes himself as a supporter of access to the greatest living spaces in Northland for Northlanders and our visitors.
“Have a great break, Northland,” wishes Mr Harris.
The Northland Conservation Board monitored and supported work by the Department of Conservation on the Conservation Management Strategy review during 2011.
Among the themes that were emphasised during information gathering by DOC from the public during the year were:
Public understanding and expectations are changing around recreation use, awareness of the environment and the importance of conservation
Walking, motorised vehicle, mountain biking, horse riding or aerial access to public conservation land is necessary if people are to enjoy it and value it. There are potential conflicts between some user groups in some locations. Improved access, particularly to the coastal margins is sought.
Protecting and enhancing fresh water quality is a high priority for many communities, who depend on public conservation land as catchment for water supplies
Pest control techniques
There is widespread support for rodent and dog control to help protect kiwi and other species. The use of 1080 for possum control seems less contentious than previously
Concerns were expressed about the potential impacts of new energy generation technologies
Concerns about the impact of more intense housing subdivision, especially in coastal areas, is widespread, along with potential impacts on natural and recreation values, changes in the character of small communities and infrastructure needs. Keeping places the way they are, with little or no development, is a strongly held view
Vehicles on beaches
Communities are divided on the extent to which motorised vehicle use should be allowed on beaches
There appears to be a greater understanding of marine management issues than in the past, but how they might be resolved is unclear. More marine reserves are sought
``If it is about food it is important to me’’. Reductions in the availability and quality of seafood are lamented, especially in communities dependent on supplementary food from the ocean. Pigs are an important food supply in some isolated locations
All forms of pollution ranging from sewage to plastics to rubbish left by visitors are unacceptable
Pakeha communities are able to articulate increasing connection to public conservation land through historic records, visitor experiences and participation in restoration activities
Maori communities continue to assert their role as kaitiaki of public conservation land and their ancestral inter-relationships. This is now well articulated in iwi and hapu resource management plans. Treaty settlements are creating opportunities for better-structured and balanced relationships between iwi and the department
Communities appreciate the opportunity to participate in and express their views around the future of conservation management in their localities. They want to work more closely with the department and seek provision of training and youth programmes. Well-run community restoration trusts are strongly supported
Co-ordination and collaboration of efforts by central government agencies and local and regional government is supported