Timberlands West CoastAssociate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control
The Associate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control, Hon David Carter, today toured the extensive West Coast forests managed by Timberlands West Coast.
"This is a great opportunity to see first-hand the techniques Timberlands is utilising on the Coast. When we extended the deadline for public comment on the beech management plans on Friday, it seemed opportune to get down before comment loses on November 20, to take a closer look at what Timberlands is doing," he said.
"There has been a lot of debate and discussion over the sustainability of the forestry operations on the Coast, and it seemed appropriate that as Minister responsible for Forestry that I visited these operations. I am aware that many conservationists who have attacked Timberlands have not seen or experienced first-hand the operations here, which makes their criticisms farcical."
Mr Carter was today planning to view a large portion of the 98,000 hectares of forest Timberlands manages on the West Coast. His itinerary included the Buller Forests, the Maruia and Grey Valley Forests, the Mawhera Forest, the Ianthe and Wanganui Forests and the Okarito Forest.
He was planning to view examples of sustainable beech management, special purpose species establishment, sustainable podocarp management and plantation operations. Following the day-long tour of Timberland's forests, Mr Carter will meet with the West Coast mayors to discuss their community's involvement with the company, and their opinion of the sustainability of the beech plan.
"It's very important that we actually listen to the locals. A lot of opposition politicians have come here and totally ignored the views of the West Coast communities that support Timberlands."