6 Apr 2015

Totara felling alarms environmental group

9:17 am on 6 April 2015

An environmental group is calling for action to stop indigenous trees in the Tasman district being felled for dairy farming.

The Tasman Environment Trust says dairy farmers in the Takaka Valley are cutting down 100-year old totara to make room for irrigation systems.

Chairman Philip Simpson said hundreds of trees had been felled and were sitting in big piles, ready to be burned.

He said there did not appear to be any legal protections over the trees, and urged land owners and the Tasman District Council to look at other irrigation options so the trees could be preserved.

Tasman District mayor Richard Kempthorne said one farmer who cut down the trees has acknowledged what he did was wrong and had been given a formal warning.

Mr Kempthorne said the council is working with the farming community to stop indigenous trees being felled.

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