Biodiversity and forestry slash open workshop
Members of the community interested in biodiversity and impacts of forestry on local waterways are invited to hear restoration ecologist Professor David Norton from the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury, along with his colleague Dr Adam Forbes in a free public workshop held 1pm Monday 28 August at the Waikanae Surf Club.
Hosted by Gisborne District Council, guest speakers will discuss opportunities to restore biodiversity within Tairāwhiti.
Council staff will also provide an overview of the work being undertaken and planned to improve biodiversity and present the findings of their Cyclone Cook Slash Investigation.
Council principal scientist Dr Murry Cave said the impacts of Cyclone Cook in April, while not to the degree of devastation in Edgecumbe, were felt across Tairāwhiti with debris avalanche events occurring in a number of catchments but particularly the area inland from Tolaga Bay.
“Council engaged Landcare Research to come up with a multifaceted set of tools for reporting and evaluating the risks of forestry slash and woody debris from landslides. Cyclone Cook was an opportunity to test the new tools.
“For our environmental and science services team this led to an investigation into the sources of woody debris in this event. Was it forestry slash or was it streamside vegetation such as willow?”
“The views within the community were varied but there was no hard data to really drill down to the origins of debris and the behaviour of debris within the river system.”
The study culminated with a project with Tolaga Bay School this week looking at the impacts of woody debris on the beach environment.
A team from Landcare Research funded through the MBIE Envirolink scheme has also identified the poor state of biodiversity within the region relative to the national average.
“We are considering how utilising more indigenous vegetation in riparian margins would provide a good opportunity to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss while still allowing for enhanced erosion protection of vulnerable rivers and hilly country,” says Dr Cave.
Members of the community are welcome to attend the workshop that will be held at the Waikanae Surf Club from 1pm Monday 28 August.
A fieldtrip for those interested will be held on Tuesday 29, visiting the Waimata Valley, Tolaga Bay Beach, the Wigan Bridge and the Mata Valley. Registrations will be taken at the workshop.