By Carol Sawyer
The West Coast of the South Island is generally thought of as being the most heavily 1080-poisoned area of New Zealand. However some of us have been thinking about that lately and have realized that, in fact, Wanaka and the Upper Clutha probably take that title, sadly.
You see, we have an extra problem animal (for farmers) in the Wanaka area, and that is rabbits, so farms and stations all round the Upper Clutha get aerially bombed with 1080 for rabbits. This is in addition to the onslaught from DoC and OSPRI for possums, rats and stoats on our farmland and in our mountain valleys.
We DID fight them off in 2015. It can be done! OSPRI had advertised plans to aerially 1080 poison DoC-managed land on Mt Roy and they were sent away with their tail between their legs and never came back.
Luggate was a two year battle, 2017 to 2019, It went ahead despite best efforts to stop it, but on a greatly reduced scale.
DoC stuffed up the aerial 1080 drop at Makarora in 2015, but unfortunately they came back in 2017 and did manage to dump poison on 38,000 ha – the Wilkin, Young, Makarora, and Blue River Valleys.
If you stand on top of Mt Iron in Wanaka and turn 360 degrees you will be looking at these aerially 1080-poisoned valleys – Matukituki, Makarora, Mt Gold, Timaru Creek (Lake Hawea), Luggate, Cardrona. Add to this most of the stations, many of the farms (deer, cattle, sheep ) and even some of the vineyards, and this is one poisoned place ! Aerial Pindone, and 1080 and Pindone thrown off quad bikes, in our public spaces, like Mt Iron itself just recently, can be added to the mix.
From the top of Mt Iron, Wanaka – Photos Carol Sawyer
More photos here:
Mt Roy, a 1080 battle that we won. That is a story in itself, which I shall tell in a different post:
Here is a great video from the top of Mt Iron – so sad that we are looking at all this beauty and know how poisoned it all is
Header image above: Mt Roy and Mt Alpha, from the top of Mt Iron, Wanaka – Photo Carol Sawyer