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The story of the depletion of the forests of New Zealand is not a new one, but it has not so far had the effect of prompting any energetic action on the part of successive Administrations. Certainly, tree-planting under Government supervision was commenced rather more than twenty years ago.
The results that have been achieved, however, are somewhat pathetic in their meagreness. The area which has been actually planted amounts to less than 33,000 acres. This gives a yearly average planting of between 1500 and 1600 acres, and in no single year since operations commenced has a total area been planted in excess of 2700 acres.
According to the figures quoted by Mr W. G. Morrison, head Government forester at Hanmer Springs, at the same session of the Congress, it was estimated in 1915 that the native timber reserves of the dominion were being depleted at the rate of 24,000 acres yearly.
Gala opening for bridge
There was quite a gala day at Queenstown to-day, the occasion being the opening of the Arthur's Point bridge over the Shotover River, about four miles from the town, by the Minister of Lands (the Hon. D. H. Guthrie).
The bridge, which was built by the Public Works Department, cost 5000.
The construction was commenced on November 1, 1917, and the bridge was built of reinforced concrete throughout. It has a total length of 140ft.
The present structure was designed by Mr C. J. M'Kenzie (resident engineer of the Public Works Department in Dunedin), and is a credit to that gentleman and those associated with him in its construction.
Enormous eel caught
An enormous eel, weighing over 100lb, and measuring 20in round the body, was shot in a creek at Kaiuma by Mr R. Hutchinson, who was attracted to the spot by hearing a great splashing of water.
He found a couple of smaller eels on the grass near the edge of the water which the veteran was evidently pursuing. As opportunity offered (says the Pelorus Guardian). Mr Hutchinson eventually despatched the monster with several shots from his pea rifle.
Strawberries for patients
A pleasant surprise was sprung on the soldier patients in the Dunedin Hospital yesterday. This took the form of a crate of Ettersburg No. 80 strawberries, which came from the Sunnyvale Orchard.
Accompanying the strawberries was an ample supply of cream. It is kind and thoughtful acts of this description which make the men realise that their services for their country are appreciated.
Mr F. Duncan was the donor, and the soldiers, in addition to enjoying the treat thus provided for them, appreciate the sentiments which prompted Mr Duncan to send along the fruit and cream.
- ODT, 14.2.1919.
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