High priority West Coast forest protected
I welcome the acquisition of a significant area of forest on the West Coast. “The Nature Heritage Fund has acquired the 152 ha of lowland podocarp/beech forest in the Buller District on the West Coast on behalf of the Crown. The forest sits on fertile limestone alluvium between Ruff Creek and Yorke Creek on the eastern flank of the Paparoa Range. This is now a rare forest type due to clearance for agriculture,” Ms Wagner says.
“It’s wonderful to see this rare and important remnant of West Coast forest, and the special species it is home to, protected for all New Zealanders.
“The limestone cliffs on this property are recognised as a Naturally Uncommon ecosystem type. The forest is also likely habitat for both the declining scarlet mistletoe and the nationally threatened Wetland Plantain.
“There are also significant areas of mature kahikatea and matai within the forest. Both tree species are largely restricted to fertile lowland soils where these forest ecosystems have become rare locally and regionally.
“The acquisition forms an enclave that is surrounded by the public conservation land of the Paparoa National Park.
“Preserving and protecting our forests is important to New Zealanders. That is why since 1990, the fund has protected more than 340,000 hectares of natural areas which would otherwise have been cleared, logged or further damaged by introduced browsing animals,” Ms Wagner says.
The Nature Heritage Fund is a contestable ministerial fund aimed at legally and permanently protecting by acquisition and covenant the full range of New Zealand’s natural ecosystems.