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Sustainable development & biodiversity restoration in threatened & at-risk environments  


"...is a pragmatic approach to creating community effectiveness in restoring the natural character of our most threatened terrestrial ecosystems..." P. Lawless.

STRAND THREE:: Integrates eco-sourced covenant restoration and indigenous timber-tree afforestation in farmed environments.

Most lowland environments in New Zealand are home to only small forest remnants with notable exceptions on the West Coast and in Southland and Stewart Island. In acutely threatened ecosystems bare fields restoration or restoration of highly degraded remnants are often the only options.

New Zealand as a whole lost more than 17,000ha of indigenous cover in 1996 to 2002 (Landcare research 2004) while less than 400ha of indigenous cover was added. Almost half of the loss, and little of the gain, was recorded in the threatened environments. The most productive environments for native timber production are the warm lowlands that are so strongly represented in threatened environments. The programme encourages native afforestation and ecological silviculture establishment in threatened environments by implementing indigenous afforestation plans. Eco-sourced seed will be gathered and propagated; pest control and afforestation will be followed by aftercare.

Ata Rangi is the first project of its kind. Ata Rangi winery owner Clive Paton from Martinborough has covenanted 90 ha of indigenous shrub land with the Department of Conservation. The area consists entirely of management-intensive edge habitat (constant pest-control required), as it follows the face of a terrace.

The proposed project creates (management-benign) resilient interior habitat within a 500x40 m wide strip along the foot of the covenanted terrace. It does this by eco-sourced indigenous afforestation (see models up to 20 ha) and permanent-canopy ecological silviculture on the terrace, providing "edge" buffer for the DoC covenant. At the same time the biodiversity values of this covenant are increased as up to 1000 endemic, eco-sourced canopy trees are planted in light-wells of the covenant's future interior habitat.


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Puriri regeneration

Vigorous Puriri saplings (Vitex lucens), competing for a canopy gap, regenerating and synergising a forest ecosystem.  Inspected by John Crawford of the Far North.