In search of wilding pines

Volunteers have two opportunities this month to help rid the Wakatipu of wilding pines.

Fran O'Connor, ''Heart of the District'' award-winner and conservation champion, and volunteers will go up Queenstown Hill on April 7, leaving the Nomad Safaris depot, Industrial Pl, at 1.30pm to return by 5.30pm, although participants can get down earlier by arrangement.

Transport, some tools and refreshments are provided. Participants can email if interested.

Queenstown Lakes District Council project manager Grant McLennan and team are targeting Ben Lomond on April 12, with April 13 the reserve day in case of poor weather.

Volunteers will meet at the Skyline Gondola base at 9am and ride the gondola to the upper terminal, then take a helicopter flight to the top of Fernhill loop track on the slopes of Ben Lomond.

Chopping and sawing wilding seedlings from the upper alpine basin is the agenda. The group will walk back in mid-afternoon.

Mr McLennan recommended volunteers bring warm clothes, lunch and water. Tools and gloves will be provided. Registration is essential.

If interested, email

Cant see the wood

It seems a juxaposition that the world is warming due to excessive carbon in the atmosphere, there is a lack of the usual rain due to clearing of forests and we are cutting down trees like this. I know the arguement for preserving the alpine environment and support it but do those ordering the trees destruction pay a carbon tax for removing these carbon sinks? When I know of one wilding pine contract that is worth 1.5 million to fill?