INDEPENDENT NEWS

Baa DOC From High Country Management - Sheep Do A Better Job

Published: Mon 5 Oct 2020 02:11 PM
The fire risk on Department of Conservation-managed land is being mismanaged and neglected, and needs urgent review, Federated Farmers says.
More than 1600 hectares have been destroyed by the fire at Lake Ohau that also ripped through the small alpine village on Sunday morning. Five weeks ago, around 300 hectares of trees and scrub were turned to ash.
"It's not even fire season and we have lost almost 50 homes and over 5000 ha because of fire," Federated Farmers High Country Chair Rob Stokes says.
"In August we had the Pukaki Downs fires, also burning through DOC land, and now just weeks later another fire, again burning through DOC land. Both these fires were entirely avoidable.
"Lake Ohau residents who have tragically lost their homes must today have serious questions around what fuelled the fire."
Federated Farmers has held grave fears for many years that locking up high country land without the proper care is dangerous.
In future Feds believes the risk will become even greater as the government’s new freshwater policies and the livestock destocking that will come through unreasonable fencing requirements will kick in. These policies will result in the growth of more combustible vegetation.
"This fire is another red flag; how many do we need?" Rob asks.
The 2012 Report of the Independent Fire Review said vegetation fires were arguably New Zealand's most significant fire risk.
Destocking hill and high-country farms for conservation purposes has not been thoroughly thought through, Rob says.
"There is simply no science to support destocking. Now people have lost their homes because of mismanagement by DOC."
Passive grazing of these areas in the past has significantly reduced the fire risk by controlling wilding pines and grasses, which left ungrazed become fuel. It also enabled the landowners and leaseholders to manage other pests while preserving open landscapes.

Next in New Zealand politics

Speech From The Throne
By: New Zealand Government
Law Commission Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations
By: Law Commission
New Zealand Government To Declare A Climate Emergency
By: New Zealand Government
Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team
By: Green Party
NZ Govt Considers Making House Prices Part Of RBNZ Mandate
By: XE Money Transfer
Green Party Respond To Government Review Of Housing Settings
By: Green Party
Rewriting The Rulebook On DNA In Criminal Investigations – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Government To Consider Recommendations On DNA Use In Criminal Investigations
By: New Zealand Government
Climate Change An Economic Issue; Critical For The Planet’s Future
By: Make Lemonade
Climate Emergency Declaration A Win But Needs Action
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
Declaration Of ‘Symbolic’ Climate Emergency
By: Extinction Rebellion
Minimum Wage Hike Isn’t What The Economy Needs
By: New Zealand National Party
Why Not $50 An Hour?
By: ACT New Zealand
Greens Commit To Ensuring Strong Oceans Protection This Term
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media