Some recent information about Mid Dome Charitable Trust
The Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust was formed in 2006 with the principal objective of promoting and protecting productive, landscape, biodiversity and other values in New Zealand’s tussock lands – particularly at Mid Dome.
History of wilding spread on Mid Dome
Mid Dome is located in northern Southland, some 100 km north of Invercargill on the highway to Queenstown (SH 6). Plantings of trees at this site for erosion control represent the oldest systematic rehabilitative work involving reforestation in Southland, and possibly in New Zealand. The rationale for the land being taken out of grazing (1947) and for revegetation being initiated (1951), was that the area was suffering from severe erosion, and was ‘unsuited to farming’ after many decades of grazing and vegetation burning. In addition, shingle fans from Mid Dome posed a threat to SH 6 and a railway line (now no longer existing). By the time the major planting had ceased in the mid 1970s, around 250 ha had been planted, initially with contorta pine (Pinus contorta) and later with dwarf mountain pine (P. mugo).
The spread of introduced conifers from the Mid Dome revegetation plantings onto surrounding farm land, some of which is now managed by DoC, has caused concern since the early 1960s (when, ironically, assurances were given at public meetings that the spread of pines could be easily controlled). It is now estimated that over 80,000 ha is affected by wildings (99% contorta pine), although their density is very low over much of this area. Since the 1960s, a number of wilding inspections have been made, reports written and control plans drafted. Serious control efforts within the revegetated area started in 1978, with smaller numbers of trees removed from surrounding farm land around 1990. Regular removals were initiated in the summer of 1998/99, and have been on-going and increasing ever since.