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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

Anti-Forest Arguments Refuted

Anti-Forest Arguments Refuted

The argument that the mills contribute to employment and regional development is the one most often used by the advocates of the exploitation of public forests, many of them virgin.

These ideas can be refuted on the grounds that an equivalent number of persons could be employed either in tourism, or in other smaller scale, forest based industries, such as furniture making; using a forest on a sustained yield basis.

It is also conceivable that other industrial initiatives could be undertaken to diversify the employment structure of the Coast.

Certainly the heavy taxpayer support of the West Coast sawmills, both in direct aid, and through the Forest Service stumpage formula, should be compared to other means of achieving the same end. The West Coast does need regional assistance, but not at any cost.

The uses to which the Rimu and Beech are presently put are a cause for concern also, as they contradict the new Forest Service indigenous forest policy.

This policy desires that timbers be used for their 'highest end use' - not presumbably the construction of packing cases (Christchurch), boxing (Twizel), wood chips (Nelson) and house framing.

NFAC supports the principle of a better and more limited use of native timbers, but only if it can be done on a sustained yield basis. Cut out and get out is not acceptable.

The 250 people attending the Okarito conference endorsed the previous policies of NFAC and instructed the National Executive to continue the fight to protect native forests anywhere, under the terms of the Maruia Declaration. Unanimous agreement was reached both to Okarito and the national scene.

You can help to save and protect our native forests in Okarito by writing to the Minister of Forests, or by contacting the local branch of NFAC. Act now before its too late.

Map of Westland National Park

NFAC - Wellington Branch:

Louise Spill, Secretary, ph. 735-966