Dear Mayor Kokshoorn, Grey District Council
Thank you for inviting public comment on proposals to log native forest in three Council reserves. New Zealanders don’t want return to the days where our pristine, ancient forests were destroyed by logging. We ask that Grey District Council reject the proposal to open up West Coast native forests on Council land to logging.
Protecting our primeval native forests is now more essential than ever. New Zealand has a biodiversity crisis. We need to safeguard the forests where native plants and wildlife threatened with extinction live. These forests are also critical to the health of our environment as they soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help keep our planet cool.
We will not create sustained prosperity on the West Coast by returning to last century’s destructive, extractive industries that provide short term jobs for a few and send profits off-shore.
Tourism generates millions of dollars each year on West Coast. Visitors are drawn to the Coast’s magnificent natural environment, its forests, lakes, coast and scenic landscapes. They come to experience the people and nature in the raw.
Is it really worth putting all this that at risk for a project that will generate just $100,000 for the council?
The Grey District Council is considering a proposal to break out the chainsaws and allow logging of native forest on three Council reserves. This would renege on the expectation when the Government gave the West Coast $120 million in 2001 that native forest logging on public land had ended for good.
West Coast rain forests should echo with birdsong, not ring to the sound of chainsaws.
The proposal is to log and remove ancient native rimu and beech trees from steep hillsides at Mt Buckley and Mt Sewell in the Grey Valley and at Lake Brunner’s Cashmere Bay.
When trees like rimu and beech take centuries to grow, logging them is not “sustainable.”
These forests are likely to provide habitat for threatened birds like kaka and kakariki/parakeets, pekapeka/bats and other special wildlife. Logging will destroy habitat for our precious native plants and wildlife, scar the landscape, and re-invigorate the native forest logging industry which was winding down.
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