Worker wellness: Jogging for logging

‘A healthy man is a safe man’

 

Some 55,000 hectares of Lakes District Mahu Whanua high country is earmarked for native forests. The ideal trees are native beech varieties and the under-story secondary growth is Manuka to help establishment .

 

The object is to quicken up what could be a long-term programme by planting seeds rather than cuttings or seedling trees. This cuts out time-consuming nursery plantings.

 

The area involved is the North Harris Mountains between Wanaka and the Shotover River, familiar territory to this writer. It includes four former high country stations – Mount Soho, Glencoe, Motatapu and Coronet Peak.

 

Fifteen years ago they were purchased by South African-born song writer Mutt Lange and Canadian (now ex-partner) Shania Twain. The terrain varies from very steep to rolling, with deep river gorges, flat terraces and bushy valleys, where pockets of Mountain and Red Beech have survived.

 

But much of it was Tussock country taken over in the last 150 years by exotic shrubs, vines and both deciduous trees and conifers. The latter are now considered an invasive pest, particularly since livestock were removed by the new owners, currently the prime plant pest. Also, large areas were over-sown with exotic grasses and clovers.

 

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