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Forestry harvesting in the Brook Valley and Maitai Valley to go ahead this winter

The harvesting of selected Nelson City Council commercial forestry blocks in the Brook Valley will begin mid-May 2021. Harvesting these blocks was delayed in 2020 to allow commercial recreation businesses that operate either near or within commercial blocks to continue operating after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Nelson City Council’s contractor PF Olsen will be undertaking a five-month harvesting project in reserves in the Brook Valley. This includes pre-harvest engineering work and post-harvest cleanup operation, with the actual harvesting period expected to take approximately three months. Once the work is complete, all the harvested areas in the Brook will be retired from commercial forestry and replaced with alternative use species.

The upcoming harvest will be conducted in three phases and will involve closures of reserves in the Codgers Trails area and the start of the Matai Valley. The harvest is being phased to minimise disruption to reserve users, while ensuring their safety and the safety of those working on site.

Phase 1 will commence mid-May and last for two months till mid-July. During this phase, the north side of Codgers near Atmore Reserve down to the Maitai Valley Walkway will be closed, including recreational trails crossing Fireball Road, Top Dog Road and Golf Course Road.

Phase 2 will commence late July and last around two weeks. This phase will see the Tantragee Reserve closed, including the Tantragee Walkway and Coppermine Trail. Fringed Hill via Tantragee Road and Fringed Hill Road will be closed during Phase 2. This phase will affect some residents living below this harvesting, and there will be some temporary traffic control. Affected residents will be contacted directly to answer any questions they may have about the project.

Phase 3 will commence in July and last until mid-September. This phase will see the closure of the majority of trails in Codgers recreation area, up to the Tantragee Saddle and down into the Maitai Valley. Tu Meke, Gully Track, Young Codgers, Fringed Hill Climb and the Coppermine Trail will remain open during this phase.

Ngāti Koata land from the Maitai Motor Camp via Groom Creek to Tantragee Saddle will be closed during all phases of the harvest, including recreational trails crossing Groom Creek Road and Fireball Road.

Fringed Hill via Tantragee Road and Fringed Hill Road will be open through all phases of work. The Fringed Hill climb will be closed for two weeks during Phase Two, concessionaries will be able to bypass the closure, and the public will be able to use the alternative climb track further up Brook Street.

Harvested trees will be transported via Maitai Valley Road and Nile Street. As has been discussed with schools, logging trucks will not exceed 30kph when passing schools. Trucks will also not travel past schools during the hours of 8:15-9:15 am and 2:45-3:45 pm during the school term.

Group Manager Infrastructure Alec Louverdis says Council has been actively working with the community and relevant interest groups to minimise disruption.

“We understand these reserves are a major source of recreation and business for people, which is why we are conducting the work over the winter months so as not to disrupt peak mountain biking and walking activities.”

“We will also be managing trail closures to enable access to areas of the reserves where harvesting isn’t active.”

Council understands these reserves are high-value recreational assets, which is why all of these stands will be retired once harvesting is finished.

We appreciate that the operation will require reserve users to alter their plans for a short time, and Council will fully re-open the reserves as soon as it is safe to do so. Council thanks the community for their patience while this work takes place.

All relevant maps of the closures and up-to-date information can be found at shape.nelson.govt.nz/harvesting-our-forests.

Following this project, there will be further harvesting work in the Maitai Valley between the dam and Smiths Ford more details about this work will be made public soon.

Click here to find out more…

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