Forests to be cleared for dairy farms

NEW ZEALAND - Plans for a major forestry to farming conversion are shaping up to be an "environment versus the economy" battle.
calendar icon 15 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
The proposal would see 22,600ha of land, now planted in pines, turned into 90 dairy farms accommodating 60,000 cows and providing work for 270 families from Atiamuri northward.

However, the proposal has been described as "calamitous" by Bernie Hornfeck, the spokesman for the newly formed Climaction Rotorua.

"It's the exact opposite of what they should be doing out there," he said.  "Half of the carbon emissions [New Zealand] produces come from the farming sector.  I think this is something that even all the farmers realise and acknowledge. They are not fools.  "The future of the planet is in the balance right now. This is the wrong path to take."

The proposal will see forestry areas being cleared between Atiamuri and Kinleith, at Mangakino and around Putaruru and Tokoroa on the eastern side of State Highway 1.

A delegation from the developers, Carter Holt Harvey, met the South Waikato District Council recently to update it on its plans.

The delegation said that if it wasn't for the cobalt deficiency which the region had suffered from for many years, the land would have been used for farms rather than forestry.

The delegation told the council the development would be spread over 25 to 30 years, with an average annual conversion of 750ha to 900ha.

Source: The Daily Post
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