New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1972) 17(2): 274–279
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry
Management of protection forests in Westland
Over 60% of the total land area of Westland, New Zealand, is mountainous country bordering the narrow coastal plain. The mountains rise to heights of 1,200 to 3,650 m in as little as 12 km from the sea. Over thirty major rivers run down through the coastal plain. These mountains are largely forest-clad up to about 1,000 m. The forests and other vegetation are subject to damage from browsing and grazing animals and, to a less extent, fire. The prime objective of management must be to stabilize mountain soils and regulate river flows, to minimize flood and erosion damage to downstream areas. Management for scenic, tourist and recreational use is becoming an increasingly important secondary objective. Thus, while the forests must be maintained in a condition in which they can fulfil their primary protective function most efficiently, their value as scenery, and their use for recreation and sport must also be considered. In addition, the role of commercial meat hunters in contributing towards animal control must also be taken into account. It is important that the primary objective does not become obscured because of pressure from sectional groups in their own particular interests.
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