Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
South Westland may seem a strange place to hold the annual conference of a national organisation, but not if you have heard of the Native Forests Action Council (NFAC).
This council, the most active of all forest conservation groups, held its conference at Franz Josef over the Easter weekend, in order to publicise the imminent logging of the Okarito State Forest by a local sawmill.
The commencement of selection logging, under milling rights given by the New Zealand Forest Service, is seen as a possible threat to the continued survival of the Kotuku or white heron.
This rare bird, which feeds in the Okarito Lagoon at the edge of the Okarito forest, may lose its major source of food if the catchment of the lagoon is milled
NFAC believes that widespread logging of the Northern Okarito forest will result in the silting up of the lagoon, and the raising of the water table.
This fear for the white heron is coupled with the more obvious concern about the acceptability of any logging at all of the magnificent virgin lowland Rimu forests.
NFAC has mounted a campaign to bring public attention to this logging, in the hope that pressure may be brought to bear on the Minister of Forests (Venn Young) to concede some political ground.