The 2013 annual meeting of the New Zealand Wilding Conifer Management Group was held this year in Richmond in the Nelson District Council Chambers. Over 30 people from across the country and with an interest in wilding conifer management attended and it seems that each year the number of people joining us in our annual meeting increases. Great to see that there is an increasing interest in managing wilding conifers.

After a short introduction and the Annual General Meeting of the Group (click here for presentation; draft minutes can be found here) in the morning, the day was filled with information and updates related to wilding conifer management.

A big plus this year were presentations from the active community groups and trusts (Mid Dome Trust, WCG, WELRA, Birdsong Trust and Marlborough Sounds Trust) as they were very encouraging. Its great to see that funding for most of these groups is continuing and that all of them take a very active approach not only to directly control wilding conifers but also aim to educate and inform communities about their work and the wilding problem in a direct and proactive fashion as balanced and objective information is vital to prevent misconceptions about the wilding problem.

Further presentations were well received and informed attendees about the current extent and severity of wilding conifers (National inventory and ECAN study - presentation or report), ways to monitor wilding infested areas and their control and DOC's approach to kill wildings with chemicals (click here). Sherman Smith provided an update on the national wilding conifer strategy (click here) and Thomas Paul provided an overview of the new SFF programme (click here) that will provide support for the national strategy. Nick Ledgard gave his impressions how South Americans are now dealing with their growing wilding problem (click here) before Andrew MacAlistair (click here) and Dan Chisnall (click here) introduced us to the wilding conifer situation in the region and informed us about the field trip for the next day.

 

Thanks to ETEC crop solutions which provide a powerful ready to use herbicide (X-Tree basal) WELRA was the lucky winner of a draw and Maree and Ray Goldring travelled back with quite a load of herbicide in the back of their wagon. How to use X-Tree basal can be viewed here (check the video out - but you might need the windows video player plugin).

The field-trip allowed the participants to mingle and discuss the wilding issue at site and Andrew Karolus from Nelson Forests explained how Nelson Forests deals with wildings that his company inherited. Inwoods Lookout and the situation at Gordons Knob was particularly interesting as legacy plantings, production forestry, private blocks and Conservation estate are bordering each other - making conducted and coordinated wilding control difficult.

A huge thanks to the people who made this meeting a great event, so all the presenters and speakers but especially Lindsay Vaughan who kept us

well feed and sheltered by organising the meeting room, lunches and coffee and Andrew Macalistair for organising the field trip and meeting. Thanks again to make this a great event!