Blackwood Bay, Small-scale Queen Charlotte Sound Site
The trees were harvested by a commercial contractor in 2002, using the Wyssen skyline system, at a small profit. This money covered the cost of employing Student Job Search workers to hand-pull a carpet of regenerating seedlings over three summers, with a little left in the bank.
With few weed species growing beneath the 80-year-old trees and native bush surrounding the site, weed invasion is not a major threat. The pines on the adjoining Department of Conservation land were killed using herbicide injection methods after the Macalister trees were harvested.
Andrew Macalister regularly patrols the block for the odd remaining pine, mostly in hard-to-reach spots. He drills these trees then injects them with herbicide and has encountered the occasional pampas and wattle seedling.
It’s been a satisfying project, with native broadleaf species already 3-4 metres-high in damp gullies and kanuka spreading up the ridges at a slower rate to replace grasses. The surrounding native forest is a good source of seed.
“The virtual absence of goats has made things much easier,” says Andrew.
Because the plantation pines were harvested before 2007, there is no Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) obligation to replant natives.
“In any case, in the high rainfall yet warm Marlborough Sounds environment the site is certainly on-track to meet ETS thresholds,” says Andrew.