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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May 1, 1935)

More Woodland Needed

More Woodland Needed.

New Zealand is perilously underwooded. France, Germany and other greatly populated foreign lands have far more timber in proportion to their area than New Zealand has. This country half-a-century ago was so liberally timbered that the bush-destroyers were given a perfectly free hand; the result we see to-day. A certain amount of reparation is being effected in the new exotic forest plantations, but that does not go nearly far enough. Nothing can ever be so valuable to a country as its own native timbers. For water conservation purposes, let alone timber-yield purposes, the varied jungle and mossy-floored indigenous bush can never be replaced adequately by introduced pines and firs. And yet there is timber-felling going on at this moment on high broken country reserved for city water supply needs. It is amazing that this destruction should be permitted.

In some places there is interplanting in remnants of the bush that should have been regarded as a sanctuary with the inferior quick-growing foreigners. This is the sort of thing that Lord Bledisloe, in a notably vigorous address, condemned as producing a “mongrel forest.” Our ex-Governor-General was a far-seeing man with a practical knowledge of forestry and an intense admiration for the New Zealand bush.