Garbage collected in forest a 'shame'

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Waste collected by volunteer rangers in the Horohoro Forest Area this week.  Photo/Supplied
Waste collected by volunteer rangers in the Horohoro Forest Area this week. Photo/Supplied

Children's paddling pools, furniture, scrap metal,and animal carcasses were among the waste collected by volunteer rangers as part of a work day in the Horohoro Forest Area this week.

Volunteer rangers assisted Department of Conservation staff to collect multiple trailers full of inappropriately discarded waste along South Road near the Mokaihaha Ecological Area.

Volunteer ranger Collette Wi said it was a shame the area was disrespected in this way, especially as it was such an important area in terms of conservation value.

"People visit the Mokaihaha and Horohoro forest area for recreational hunting, hiking and to try and catch a glimpse of elusive kokako.

For those people to have to pass all this garbage before they reach their destination is a real shame and it spoils the atmosphere of the area," she said.

"The costs associated with the collecting and correctly disposing of illegal waste on public conservation land is taken out of our local budget which means less funding for our priority projects."

"Unfortunately, this waste creates a health and safety risk and damages the environment so we attend to it as much as we can. It's been such a great help to have willing Volunteer Rangers to support our efforts," said Miss Wi.

Two volunteers assisted the work day as part of DOC's volunteer Wednesday programme to involve the community in conservation work.

"Each month, we plan a different activity for registered volunteers to become involved in. It could be track maintenance, it could be bio-security work - we try to provide a range of activities to engage people," said Miss Wi.

Volunteers can register for DOC's Volunteer Wednesday and Adopt-a-track programmes by emailing rotorua@doc.govt.nz.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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