24 Mar 2011

$50 fee to be charged for entry to forest

4:05 pm on 24 March 2011

Some recreational users of the Rangitaiki River in Bay of Plenty are angry that the forest management company, Timberlands, has decided to charge for access through Kaingaroa Forest.

From May, everyone entering the forest to hunt, fish, or shoot game birds, will have to register with a security firm and pay $50 for a permit.

Fish and Game eastern region manager Rob Pitkethley says up to 15,000 anglers per year fish the Rangitaiki River and $50 for a permit is excessive.

Fly fishing website operator Doug Stevens says the river is internationally renowned for the quality of its fishing.

He says the decision has angered fishermen and will have economic effect on tourism and the town of Murupura.

Timberlands has declined to comment.