Some impressions of a visit to parts of the South Island, June 1962
In June, 1962, at the invitation of the Tussock Grasslands and Mountain Lands Institute of New Zealand, I inspected parts of the South Island (Appendix 1), to make comparisons between high mountain areas of Australia and tussock grassland and mountain areas of New Zealand (Appendix 2) and thereby gain a clearer understanding of New Zealand problems. The inspections were arranged and conducted by the Director of the Institute, Mr L. W. McCaskill, usually in conjunction with other workers, runholders and administrators concerned with high country problems. Despite the necessarily selective nature of the visit, both as regards places and people, a reasonable cross-section of country, problems and opinions was encountered which, with recollections of an earlier visit in 1951, permitted some impressions to be formed. What is the solution to the deteriorated condition of New Zealand tussock grasslands and mountain lands, as manifest in many ways such as soil erosion, stream aggradation, flooding, weed and pest invasion, and declining stock-carrying capacity? Since there is a common denominator to most of these areas-tussock grassland-universal solution is sometimes expected. But the environment is so diverse, especially as regards topography, altitude and associated climate that no one solution can be possible and the illusion is best forgotten. There are many problems and each may require a separate solution. There is little point is discussing the many day-to-day problems with which New Zealand workers are already fully familiar, such as the need for cheaper effective fencing, and feral animal and weed control. The basic question is the determination of correct land use and this is the issue which is considered here.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordshill farming; mountain lands; high country; tussock grasslands; soil erosion; weed invasion; pest invasion; fencing; flooding; stream degradation
Fields of Research070101 Agricultural Land Management; 070102 Agricultural Land Planning; 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
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