On July 24, 2009, the South Island Wilding Conifer Management Group met at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch for the last time – at the end of 3 years of research, funded by MAF’s Sustainable Farming Fund and nine stakeholders. Research providers, Nick Ledgard and Thomas Paul of Scion, presented the results from the past year to the 20 people present (including 15 members).
Highlights included the spatial display of risk assessment via Google Earth, the practical wilding control guideline manual, and opportunities for managing wildings through to native woody species. Reports on these topics, plus the Powerpoint addresses given at the meeting are available elsewhere on this site (click here). The control manual has been published and is now available (click here ).
At the July 24 meeting, there was agreement that the impetus of the Group’s wilding work needed to be maintained. Members wanted to see the website continued and further development of the Google Earth risk assessment package. In addition, there was discussion about the continuation of the vegetation succession research.
The SFF representatives present indicated that they would consider an application for an extension to complete work within existing Milestones, using some ‘carry-over’ funds remaining from the 2006-09 project. In addition to this SFF sum, co-funding has been obtained from Group members who had previously indicated support for another SFF wilding project - which unfortunately failed to get full SFF approval (for more detail see latest Newsletter).
It was agreed that Scion would compose a programme of on-going wilding work for consideration by the Group, and send this around for comment within the next 2 weeks. This has been undertaken, and an approved programme has been submitted to SFF along with an application for an extension into the 2009-10 year (since approved).
It was also agreed that the application to SFF for on-going wilding work would be made under the name of the NZ Wilding Conifer Management Group. This group comprises those already in the 2006-09 group, plus additional stakeholders from both the North and South Islands. The current Chairman, Collier Isaacs (Landcorp Farming), would remain in the chair until December 1, when Hamish Roxburgh (Amuri farmer) would take over as Group chairman for any on-going research.