Brown foliage marks the success of the recent round of poisoning of juvenile wilding pines, carried out by the Department of Conservation on a large section of river flats adjacent to the Boulder Reach Pool on the Tongariro River.
The operation was part of an ongoing wilding pines programme in partnership with the Advocates of the Tongariro River. Areas treated so far extend from the main road bridge upstream to just above the Boulder Reach. Funding has been acquired by the Advocates from the Waikato Regional Council’s Environmental Initiative Fund to make the programme possible. Work will now continue in the Waikari and Paurini Reserves and other areas.
"If we didn't eradicate these trees there would be wilding pine forest. Treating the trees with herbicide is the most effective way to enable native plant species to regenerate", explains Leith Rhynd, biodiversity services senior ranger.
The Advocates also plan to help the department with funding to target willows in the Tongariro catchments, a growing threat to native flora. The Advocates project leader John Toogood says "We envisage preserving and restoring, where possible, the river valley landscape and biodiversity values, which contribute towards our main aim of the Tongariro River being treasured again as one of the world's top ten trout fishery experiences, with the consequent benefit to Turangi and the region".
Additional work the Advocates have been undertaking include clearing brush weeds on the Tongariro River immediately adjacent to Turangi and replanting the river banks with native plants.
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Poisoned brown pines will rot away to make room for recovering native plant species