The National Wilding Conifer Management Strategy has been released by the Ministry for Primary Industries just before Christmas (2014) and you can download it by clicking here.
Wilding Conifers displace native vegetation, change ecosystems, reduce available grazing land, limit future land use options, visually change landscapes, can affect water quantity in water sensitive catchments, and can result in damaging wild fires.
Approximately 1.7 million hectares, almost 6% of New Zealand, have already been affected to some extent by these unwanted trees. Wilding conifers are continuing to increase in area at an average compounding rate of approximately 5-6% per year. At current infestation levels this equates to approx 90,000 hectares each year becoming infested.Without effective control this initial infestation gets progressively denser until it is solid wilding conifer forest.
In March 2013 a working group was established to develop a strategy for the management of wilding conifers in New Zealand - The New Zealand Wilding Conifer Management Strategy 2015 -2030. Membership of the working group consists of key stakeholders including the forestry and farming industries, regional and district councils, DOC, LINZ, NZDF, researchers and community trusts.
The strategy proposes a range of actions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of wilding conifer management.MPI is currently leading a process to decide on the next-steps to implement the strategy.