Long Point update
Friday 13th June, 2008
After many months of long protracted negotiations, the Long Pont project has finally taken off with a hiss and a roar. Firstly, the Clutha District Council granted us the necessary resource consent in very quick time.
Then we've had a succession of distinguished visitors to the reserve since it was opened by the Minister of Conservation, Steve Chadwick, back in November. In March some of the Department of Conservation's senior management team based in Dunedin were given a tour. These included Coastal Otago Area staff Robin Thomas (Area Manager), David Mules (Programme Manager Community Relations) and David Agnew (Programme Manager Biodiversity Assets) and Otago Conservancy's Marian van de Goes (Community Relations Manager). Then in April the Dunedin branch of the Forest and Bird committee also inspected the reserve. Prof Alan Mark when walking the headland had to admit that the "scenery wasn't too bad". In spite of a lack of his beloved tussock he thought that the Dunedin Forest and Bird Branch had made a great investment by financially supporting the purchase.
This was followed by a visit from the board of the Community Trust of Otago, our other major financial supporter.
In other developments, a very successful "Restoration Brainstorming Day" was held in February. Participants came from as far afield as Lincoln University and Invercargill to give their ideas and visions for the restoration potential of the new reserve. Lots of exciting ideas were floated for both yellow-eyed penguin management and also the conservation of other species - with several people identifying the tremendous potential for restoration of a range of seabirds, possibly including Bullers albatross and titi as well as the smaller storm and diving petrels.
So where to from here? Planning will continue through out autumn and winter and we hope to have our first meeting of a new Long Point Advisory Group in the next couple of months.
Donations towards this project are now being sought, and can be made online through the 'Donate Online' button, typing in "Long Point" in the message box.