Friday, February 22, 2013


I can hardly get my head around the news that Department of Conservation (DOC) has just cut down a 500 year old tree to extend a nearby tramping hut. This is just insanity - these trees should be venerated and worshiped for the aspects of nature and life they display - they are not firewood. Just so disgraceful that DOC would do this and the excuse used by the manager

DoC Buller area manager Bob Dixon said the department had invested $75,000 transforming the 1960s ex-forestry hut.
Moving the hut would have been "phenomenally expensive" in a constrained site; "and we have plenty of trees". It was standard operating procedure when there was a risk to people.
"We are not interested in Mr Lusk grandstanding, particularly when the safety of people is uppermost."
and what has Mr Lusk said
"DoC's excuse was health and safety," Mr Lusk said. "But it's been there for 500 years and (survived) about 20 major earthquakes."
Indeed - it is just a line about health and safety - the money is where the real motivation came from. This mindset of disrespect to nature and our connection to it, has contributed to much of the ill within our societies as we create distance from nature - if you don't know it then it is easier to destroy or exploit or kill.

This is not our nature position, this is imposed and alien to our natural sensibilities - the system we have created is just that - created. And it can be uncreated as well, over time. This must be done to get the balance back.

This tree was our tree - a living entity that deserved protection - shame on DOC for cutting instead of caring.

Thanks Mike in the comments for this photo and that information 

1 comment:

MikeM said...

Here's a picture I took of that tree in January 2010 -- the top of Mokihinui Forks Hut in the foreground.

It gets worse -- from a press release of the Buller Conservation Group a week ago:

Conservationist Pete Lusk agrees that one of the biggest negatives was the way the 'upgrade' of the Old Ghost Road track bypassed normal planning procedures and opened up a wilderness that DOC's West Coast Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) had wanted protected.

"When the local Conservation Board questioned DOC they were told that the CMS didn't apply since the money had come from the Ministry of Economic Development, he says.

"This had everyone gobsmacked, including me. I'd worked on the CMS when on the conservation board a dozen years ago. DOC kept stressing to us how important the document was and that CMS will be our "Bible". DOC's senior planner said then that everything that happened on public conservation land on the West Coast would be governed by the CMS."

I don't get this line of reasoning. Straight from 17D(1) of the Conservation Act, a CMS is meant to apply to land because it's managed by DoC. It has nothing to do with who's providing money to do something on the land.