Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has announced plans to begin the harvest and revegetation of Coronet Forest, starting Monday 23 September 2019.
Established over several years between 1984 and 1996, Coronet Forest consists of 172.5 ha of Douglas fir and is a significant seed source contributing to the wilding pine problem on neighbouring indigenous tussock grassland.
QLDC General Manager Community Services, Thunes Cloete said the harvest was an important step towards supporting ongoing wilding control works, while working to provide and safeguard enduring landscapes in the district.
“This work will help to eliminate the substantial impact the forest’s seeds have on the surrounding land, and following harvest we’ll see the return of a large area of our local landscape to native planting,” Dr Cloete said.
“QLDC acknowledges that the harvest is taking place five years before maturity of the oldest trees. However, this operation will allow us to protect our local natural environment for generations to come.”
Minor road upgrades will be required on Alan Reid Road, with an extension required through to Coronet Forest. The upgrade will be completed within the current road reserve and under road safety and traffic management protocols.
The preferred contractor will be confirmed as harvester in early September.
The removal of the forest is part of the Arrowtown Wilding Strategy, an ambitious plan to control invasive trees around Arrowtown.