Conservationists are considering taking legal action to stop landowners planting Douglas fir plantations on the Lammermoor Range.
The plantations for carbon credits are on a private farm at the site of Meridian Energy’s planned Project Hayes wind farm which was cancelled after the Environment Court ruled the area was a nationally important landscape.
Wilding trees – mostly pines and firs – are a significant problem in several areas of the South Island high country and the conservationists’ concern is understandable. But if plantations are surrounded by a buffer zone of other trees and grazing land there should be little risk of seeds blowing on to conservation areas.
The landowners have already gone through years in limbo waiting for the lengthy process which preceded the decision to can plans for the wind farm. Now they might face more expense and delays through court action.
But at least these conservationists are proposing to take the legal way and not talking about vigilante tactics as others concerned about Douglas Firs did last month.