Thursday, 23 July 2009

COMMENTAIT (column): Who’s been stealing our trees?

COMMENTAIT

by Geraldine Tait

Who's been stealing our trees?

It has certainly been a long cold winter so far and keeping the old
log burner stoked up helps to warm the house and keep Jack Frost at
bay. But I don't think that the weather is justification for people
chopping down our favourite old pines by the bay for firewood. In
recent weeks at least seven trees have been cut down and carted off,
possibly to sell. These trees have been removed from the area between
the back beach road and the bay. They are old mature trees but were
not dead and while they are still alive they play a role in helping to
hold the bank at the edge of the tide from further erosion and also
provide a wind barrier for the domain area. Eventually many of these
trees will probably fall over but for the mean time being able to walk
under these towering grand-daddy Pines is one of the many aspects of
our beach area local people enjoy. The Trees are on a DCC Reserve and
it is illegal to remove any trees or other materials from the reserve.
There is a council sign informing people of this not far from where
the attacks have taken place.

Tree stealing has also been occurring in the reserve at Waikouaiti,
the same people may be involved. Our local Policeman, Constable
Jon-Paul Tremain would be interested in any information about who has
been removing the trees, you can contact him (with details of any
vehicle regos) by phoning 465 9127. Alternatively Renee Gordon, DCC
Reserves Officer (phone 477 400) would like to hear from you if you
can help solve the tree stealing mystery. If trees have fallen over or
pose a particular risk to reserve users you can call Renee and she
will arrange for the contractors, Asplundh to cut them down. Usually
the felled trees are not removed but left so that locals can help
themselves to the wood on a first in first served basis, this seems
pretty fair. If you know who has been nicking our trees please pass on
the message that the trees belong to everyone and are valued as live
trees, they are not a private firewood supply.

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