Reforestation for Mt Dewar

An unprecedented Queenstown reforestation development may be just the first of many, the man behind the project says.

Treespace, an environmental enterprise founded to undertake large-scale native reforestation projects, has bought Mount Dewar Station.

Founder Adam Smith says Queenstown has a ''unique opportunity to become a world leader in environmental care and restoration''.

''Mt Dewar is currently comprised of 1780ha of unproductive high-country farmland burdened with a significant wilding pine problem and threatened by pests.

Mount Dewar, near Queenstown, Photo: Mountain Scene
Mount Dewar, near Queenstown, Photo: Mountain Scene

"The project's goal is to restore and rebalance 99% of the ecosystem through large-scale native reforestation, using 0.01% of the land for habitable buildings and the activation of low-impact ecotourism activities to fund the reforestation and ongoing management of the mountain.''

More than 143,800 trees will be planted over 13 years.

The project will feature a 55-lot subdivision, including 43 cabins and 11 chalets for residential and visitor accommodation.

There will also be a lodge with facilities for events of up to 60 people, and capable of accommodating 20 overnight guests.

Mr Smith said 80% of the proposed sites would be a maximum of 100sq m, to ''maximise affordability and minimise environmental impact''.

There would also be more than 50km of publicly accessible hiking and biking trails, including 19.7km of new trails.

And it might be just the first of many similar projects.

Mr Smith said Treespace was looking at a site in the North Island, and another in Southland, for future reforestation projects.

They were not necessarily linked to ecotourism but could traverse ''education, habitation, health, wellbeing, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and clean technology''.

Treespace had voluntarily asked for the resource consent application to be publicly notified, due to the ''massive scale'' of it.

''We felt like that was the natural thing to do.''

He hoped to ''get trees in the ground'' this year.

''We're pretty keen to get it going.''

 

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